Driving, walking, visiting Estes Park for the first time, you can’t miss the big white place up the hill.
All eyes at the my dear wife Karen’s Family Reunion were drawn toward The Stanley Hotel.
Something about it just seemed so darn … familiar.
On Friday morning, we four walked up from our cool blue cottage to investigate.
Talk the night before had touched on some history of the joint, and sister-in-law Lynne and nieces Stormy and Kimi had mentioned how they might like to sign up for the Stanley Hotel’s Ghost Tour.
We figured we’d check the grounds, and hunt for a schedule and prices.
First, though, daughter Elisabeth and boyfriend George Three couldn’t pass up the photo opportunity with the valley below.
And then I couldn’t resist a more traditional shot of them pointing down …
… and my signature shot of my dear wife walking up toward our goal, the stately Stanley.
We walked right inside the ornate lobby of polished wood.
Elisabeth grabbed my iPhone 6 and let Karen and I have a little fun with our own tourist photo opp. Yes, our heads are embodied on the two little girls made famous in the film made of Stephen King’s so-scary novel The Shining. King, you see, stayed here with his wife as the sole guests one night, and was inspired to write that story of isolation in the mountains. Alas, the movie was shot on Mount Hood in Oregon. Decades later, though, this place was used for the shooting of a TV mini-series remake. It also was used in the popular movie Dumb and Dumber
And legend has that the place completed as a guest home in 1909 for Freelan Oscar Stanley, owner of the Stanley Steemer company, is haunted.
Alas, Karen’s inquiry discovered that all ghost tours were sold out until today, in fact, two days past everybody’s departure from the Family Reunion.
We walked around some more, admiring the miniature hedge maze and soaking up the natural beauty of the place.
Click on any gallery photo for a description. Click on the bottom photo for an enlarged slide show.
Tomorrow: Up the mountain by foot and by jeep
Friday: Denver’s a real zoo
Would you walk up the big hill drawn by this white building? Would a ghost tour at the Stanley Hotel interest you or scare you away? Are you more afraid of Redrum or more interested in what inspired Stephen King?