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Trip Report A mini autumn getaway - Estes Park & Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park

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On a recent trip to the US to visit family, I took my mother to Estes Park for a mini getaway.

A few nice days had been promised by the weather guessers, so we put ourselves at their mercy, hastily booked a room and hit the road.

We drove up from Colorado Springs, stopping in Lone Tree for a hot green chili fix at an old favorite, the Brewery Bar (http://brewerybar3.com/) and a chocolate fix in Denver at one of the only two See’s Candies shops in all of Colorado (http://www.sees.com/). I have a friend in CA to thank for getting me addicted to their dark chocolate Bordeaux and vanilla creams many years ago.

We drove via Lyons and the mess that is Boulder (thanks to a lot of road construction) entering Estes Park via 36 west. We returned via the Big Thompson Canyon and Loveland, making a detour in Littleton for pie at another favorite waist expanding establishment and a quick stop at the Castle Rock outlet stores, just because they’re there.

We spent two nights at the Silver Moon Inn in Estes Park, which we found peaceful and ideally located a short walk from town. Our first morning we woke to find elk grazing on the trees right outside the inn and strolling up the street. The Silver Moon Inn was perfect for us, comfortable, roomy, cozy and inexpensive ($89 off season, inclusive of a continental breakfast).

http://silvermooninn.com/

We took several short hikes within Rocky Mountain National Park, explored the visitor’s centers and generally poked around. It was clear, cold, windy and absolutely gorgeous. I left with a new appreciation for an area that I thought had been ruined for me after a visit a few years back surrounded by throngs of tourists. This time was entirely different and left me wanting more.

At the suggestion of our inn proprietor we dined at Mary’s Lake Lodge one evening, which we both enjoyed and never would have found had we not asked.

http://www.maryslakelodge.com/

The morning we left, we walked around Lake Estes (a 3.5 mile loop give or take) and soaked up the scenery reflected in the crystal clear lake.

It was a good trip and excellent mother-daughter time; quiet, restful and completely spontaneous.

As for visiting in mid October, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Photos here:

http://www.worldisround.com/articles/356216/index.html

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