Hello Everyone, back in the UK after another fabulous road trip and as thanks for your helpful advice during the planning stage, I thought I would provide a report which I hope may be helpful to other road trippers in the future.
Fri 1st Sept
Up at 5am for a quick taxi ride to the airport, then a 9 (ish) hour Flight from London Heathrow, got us to Detroit Metropolitan Airport at around 1.30 in the afternoon (USA time) where we had a 3-hour layover. Long enough to enjoy a huge meal at PF Chang’s near gate 38. With hindsight, we should have ordered one dish between us – we had forgotten how huge the portions can be in the States when compared to the UK standard offerings.
We then had a 3.15 hour second flight onto Colorado, which due to time differences between the two states, meant that we arrived at Denver around half five in the evening and were collecting our car (Nissan Rogue) by 6.30. We had considered staying overnight at Denver airport as advised on this forum, but we felt fine, and so following advice regarding the traffic, we took the US-36W towards Estes Park, arriving around 9pm.
We checked into Ridgeline Hotel which is just outside the downtown area and has recently been refurbished to a good standard. There was free hot coffee in the lobby, a nice bar area and a welcome reception from the check in staff. After a quick drink in the bar to celebrate our arrival, we headed for the comfort of our room (huge room with 2 double beds) and a good night’s sleep.
Sat 2nd Sept
Up early and as no breakfast was included within our room rate we headed into downtown Estes.jpgEstes Park for a mooch round and a feed. Downtown Estes Park is full of tourist shops, galleries and restaurants and we wandered along the Estes Park's Riverwalk, under lovely blue skies and enjoyed a beautiful scenic stroll that meanders along the river all the way through town.
We became so distracted by the sight of two Alpaca’s (Honey & Suzanne) at the start of the walk, that it was after 10am when we eventually sat down to eat breakfast. RTAz.jpg
After a considerable amount of wandering in and out of the tee shirt and gift shops, and stopping for photo’s etc we made our way to the Ariel Tramway. There was quite a long queue and it took about 35 mins for us to be able to pay our $14 each (well worth it) and board the little red cable car which took us to the top of Prospect Mountain. From there we had wonderful views across the Park and there were lovely trails for wandering, plus lots of picnic benches strategically placed for simply sitting and enjoying the peace and the scenery. We spent several hours up there, and managed to become pretty friendly with some of the local wildlife, especially the chipmunks.
Alvin.jpgBack down off the tramway we again wandered along the Riverside and wished we had more time to spend in town but we had to rush back to our hotel to change for dinner and a show at the Stanley Hotel which was scheduled for 7.30.
The Stanley is lovely, very stately and grand with a nice outside bar area and a true sense of history is felt whilst sitting there enjoying the atmosphere. We walked around the hotel and grounds and enjoyed a quick drink on the hotel's iconic porch with a spectacular view of the mountains. Although we didn’t enjoy the show (Aidan Sinclair – Master of Illusion) we left partway through the performance. He was entertaining (I guess) but it was too much talking and not enough action for us, essentially if you’re interested in the history of the Titanic this might be the show for you. Tickets were $45 each and for that we got a front row seat and a signed poster. With hindsight, we would have had a nicer time staying on the Porch and enjoying the ambience a little longer.
Sun 3rd Sept
Up early again, showered, dressed, fed and on the road to Keystone South Dakota by 10am.
honi & Suzanne.jpgalvin 2.jpg