Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 11 – Rum of a Reddish Color - or - Free Beer in the Mountains

The mountains peeked through our window as we blinked in the morning sunshine. Yawning, we found our way to the living room and thumbed through magazines until Caroline woke up and made us some french press coffee. Soon Craig, Caroline and your two heroes were sitting pleasantly in the kitchen, making plans for an easy day off.

Before long we were zooming into the mountains, just minutes from their apartment. We were treated to intoxicating views of the Rockies. The kinds of sights that make one want to walk off into the hills, never to be seen again. I was surprised to see many small communities tucked away in the rugged mountains.

We parked at the famous Stanley Hotel. This beautiful set of buildings, and the drive through the mountains to get there, was the inspiration for “The Shining”. The movie however was shot somewhere in Washington. Though, CBS did a TV miniseries that was shot at the actual Stanley. It is an eerie place, lined in dark green wallpaper and trimmed in dark wood.

Next we stopped in on Estes Park Brewery. One of the owners was kind enough to pour us samples of everything they had on tap. Hey had some good stuff, including a great Red Ale, and Blythe’s favorite, the oatmeal stout. They had a beautiful operation. Craig bought a mixed 6-pack with a good selection including a pretty hearty barley wine.

After our free beer, we stopped for some lunch in Nederland, home of the Frozen Dead Guy Festival, and famous for loose marijuana laws that let citizens smoke on the street. When full on burgers and salads, we rode back though Boulder Canyon. It’s an odd experience to roll through this epic landscape, and a few miles later drive through the metropolitan and glittering Boulder downtown.

This is a kid on a car!

Back at their apartment, we spun records, drank beer and cider, and talked until 3 in the morning. It was a good night.

Thanks to Craig and Caroline for putting us up again.

Tomorrow… Lunch with Dustin and Brooke, I25 south, and the desert at night.

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