NEWS FLASH! Rocky Elk go on strike!

Before we get to the big news of the day, just in case you are interested, here’s an update on my convection oven battle.  We (it took two of us) successfully baked biscuits this morning and very tasty pork chops tonight!  Applause, everyone!  Goodness knows what we will attempt next.  Ashley wants us to demonstrate on Facetime.  Come on, Ashley, this is not a cooking show!  Anyway, I would have to have a personal hairdresser and where would he/she sleep????

On to the BIG NEWS….  I kept looking out the windows this morning waiting for our friends to appear.  But not a sign.  So around noon we drove down the hill to exit the campground and what did we see?  Elk on strike!


OK–either they were on strike or they were intensely involved in their noon siesta.  I have been suspecting that this campground pays the local elk to stroll through this campground for the guests’ entertainment.  Unfortunately, they probably heard about the minimum wage going up and decided that a pay increase would be nice.  Well, there were some strikebreakers–turning their backs on their friends–well, OK, their BUTTS.  But aren’t they CUTE butts?  I’ve become very fond of these local elk, so when I see Elkburgers on the local menu it makes me feel kind of sad and, well, nauseated.  Maybe this was a strike after all–some big issues here!

I didn’t sleep too well last night thinking about the ghosts at the Hotel Stanley.  I think they felt cheated since I didn’t show you any pictures of their (permanent?) home.  So here goes:


Do you notice anything odd?  Well the picture in the middle is not the Hotel Stanley but a dollhouse replica of it used in the movie, “The Shining.”  And did you know the first “Dumb and Dumber” movie was also filmed here?  Odd combination, don’t you think?  The hotel was owned by the same Stanley fellow who built the Stanley automobile.  Anybody remember that?  If you do, you’re probably one of the Hotel Stanley ghosts.  I’m sure the ghosts get a kick out of riding this car up and down the lobby every night.  There is a picture in the lobby of the Emperor Hirohito from Japan behind the wheel of the car as it sat in the lobby.  He must have had a difficult time getting a taxi that day.

Sitting in the lobby of the Hotel Stanley, the Stanley automobile as it once looked upon arrival in Estes Park, CO.  The automobile quickly replaced many of the horses and buggies used by Estes Park folks.

Ashley, what do you think?  Isn’t this staircase remarkably similar to the one at the place where you and Justin were married?  The museum downstairs has videos taken of ghosts flitting up and down the stairs.  Or perhaps it was some old film.  Who knows?

Squint your eyes just a little and you may be able to see a Hotel Stanley ghost. Oh yeah, just now, did you see that????

So today we headed back into Rocky, and found this valley near Horseshoe Bend.  During the Depression, 200 men from the Civilian Conservation Corps lived in tents on the valley floor, working to preserve and protect the wilderness areas.  I don’t know if you girls remember me telling you this, but my grandfather on my mother’s side worked in the Corps and helped to build the Blue Ridge Parkway after the war.  These men left their families and lived in camps for months at a time in a last ditch effort to work so that they could feed their families.  Efforts like this helped a lot of families survive the Depression era.  As a side benefit, Roosevelt’s initiative to create the Corps helped place more focus on wilderness preservation for future generations.


I asked everyone yesterday if they knew what kind of bird this is.  Lisa said it was a magpie and that they have a lot of them in Utah.  Interesting!  I don’t know too much about magpies, but aren’t they the birds who like shiny articles and will steal it in a heartbeat?  So I guess the bears aren’t the only scavengers in the campground.  Maybe a few CAUTION: MAGPIES IN AREA next to the bear warning signs?  Hmmm…


I thought you guys would like to see this sweet doggie I met in the RMNP visitor center.  He’s a sweet and fun dog who happens to be a support dog.  He had his national certification tags on his back and was happy to be out of the car so that he could get his shopping done–he was busy selecting a new t-shirt when I walked up.  His owner said he is her constant companion and helps her tremendously.  He gave me lots of kisses before he left with his owner.

We are moving on to Colorado Springs tomorrow and leaving this very interesting place behind.  Probably very timely, since Estes Park is almost into the flood season.  Bob has been getting the scoop from the guy down at the gas station where he gets his coffee every morning.  (Yes, he has a coffee pot but I think he likes to hear a little local gossip at the same time he has his wakeup coffee.)  They had a bad flood last year but it didn’t beat the one in 1982 which was catastrophic.  I talked to a lady in the bookstore I visited today about the flooding and she said they are holding their breath that it doesn’t warm up too quickly–which would send torrential meltwaters down the rivers and streams ultimately slamming into Estes Park.  They are still cleaning up from last year.  The devastation from these floods is overwhelming for such a small isolated community.

Just one more note: to save myself from further embarrassment, I finally bought some hiking shoes today and the lady in the shoe store swore I could walk on ice, rocks, anything–without sliding.  She even had me running up a rock ramp in her store to prove her point.  I think she must have been talking to the Park Ranger from yesterday.  Word gets around in these small towns.

So on to the next adventures!  I will be back in Virginia May 7-12, so Bob has instructions to take lots of pictures while I’m gone and have lots of GOOD adventures, so that I can send out a “catch-up” blog when I return.  So never fear–these intrepid explorers are still on the job–but will be taking a blog break for a few days!  Take care friends and family–all our love!




One thought on “NEWS FLASH! Rocky Elk go on strike!”

  1. The companion dog sure looks like Miss Sadie. And you say she gives kisses? Maybe distant cousins.

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