Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Colorado - the "she wants to go right!" edition

*WARNING* This one is going to be even more picture heavy than usual. Sorry...

And so we come, as we inevitably must, to the conclusion of my (ridiculously longwinded) series of posts about my trip to the US. It's only taken me, what, four months to write about my six week trip. #GENIUS

(Incidentally, I was convinced that "and so we come, as we inevitably must" was a quote from something, so I Googled it. Apparently it's only nerds like me who use that. And people who write fan fiction about WRESTLING. *head explodes*)

ANYWAY. My last full day in Colorado, Lyndsy and I headed up to the mountains to look at the leaves. We started out by heading to Guanella Pass. The trees on the drive up were pretty spectacular up close. I *may* have almost fallen down a hill because I was looking at the trees while trying to change the lens on my camera, with the other lens clasped between my knees. #classy 

And the view from the top of Guanella Pass wasn't too shabby either! It WAS rather chilly though, so we didn't stay too long.

From there, we headed for the Peak to Peak Highway via Central City. With no GPS to rely on, our navigation was courtesy of print outs from Google Maps. Needless to say, things got slightly confusing when we took an incorrect turn in Central City. Especially as Central City has a ton of one way streets. But it worked out pretty well in the end, because we came across this random old cemetery that's filled with aspen trees. 

It was quite fun to wander through the trees and find graves hidden amongst them. Or it was, until we came across this propped against a tree:
Karen Warner. 'Til death do us part?
It's like the creepiest marriage proposal of all time. I mean, seriously. Why the hell is there a question mark?!?! O.o

We then came across this, which made us both laugh a little harder than it should have. Mostly because at first, I thought it was the middle finger that was raised. And then because they felt the need to clarify that "home" meant UP.

We eventually made it to the Peak to Peak Highway, and - along with half the population of Colorado - came across this patch of trees. We nearly got hit by a people mover from Kansas being driven by people who were either incredibly blind or just didn't care that there were pedestrians standing where they wanted to park their car. But it was worth it, don't you think?

From there, we went past another couple of 14,000 foot mountains before arriving in Estes Park. Upon arrival, we almost had an accident courtesy of a shit ton of elk (that's the collective noun for elk, right??) on the golf course, which people were stopping in the middle of the road to take photos of. We, being sensible individuals, drove over to the parking lot of the tourist information centre and walked back over to the golf course. At one point, we had to walk across a bridge and stopped to look at the salmon (?) that were trying to jump up the weir to get upstream. IDIOTS. After being amused by the doomed-to-failure salmon for a while, we turned to keep walking towards the golf course, and were met with this:
Cop standing nearby: Just stay where you are, ladies. She wants to make a right.
Lyndsy: How does he know??
Me: Maybe elk have indicators?

The cop was right - apparently this particular elk was too lazy to jump the fence, and so was wandering up through the crowd to a gap in the fence. We stood around taking pictures of the elk for a while. There were a couple of males there, so there was some bugling going on, which was pretty cool. Sadly, I didn't think to use the video mode on my point and shoot because I'm a moron and left it in the car.  
Check out those insane antlers
Dawwwww, baby!!
This just made me laugh

There's only so much elk butt you can look at without getting bored. So after a while, we headed up to the Stanley Hotel, which was the inspiration for The Shining

The miniseries that was made in 1997 was actually filmed there. We were too cheap to actually do a tour (partly because one had just started, so we would have had to wait a millionty years for the next one), so we wandered around the foyer, peered up the staircase, bought a tacky postcard for my brother and headed off in search of ice cream. On the way to find ice cream, we found more elk. These ones used a zebra crossing rather than just walking into the road. That was weird. (NO ONE MAKE JOKES ABOUT HOW ELK AREN'T ZEBRAS. I'LL HURT YOU IF YOU DO.)

Anyway. We ended up in one of the many ice cream stores in town, and decided that milkshakes would be easier to drink on the trip back to Denver. They were delicious, but good GOD they were expensive! (Correct me if I'm wrong, but over $7 seems excessive, yes???) Upon arriving back in Denver, we picked up Lyndsy's husband from work, and headed out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant near their house. The next morning, which I foolishly assumed was my last day in America, I realised that I hadn't ONCE eaten mozzarella sticks. On mentioning this to Lyndsy, we decided that it needed to be rectified. So we went out to lunch at a pub near her house.

OH. AND. On the way in, there was a bus stop. At the bus stop, a lady was sitting with her toddler. Her toddler was rolling his large toy truck down a ramp and into the road, then walking out between parked cars to get it. #parentingfail

Waitress: What can I get you guys?
Lyndsy: I'll have [insert food here. I know it involved deep fried pickle bits].
Me: And I'll have the mozzarella sticks, and a side of mac and cheese.
Waitress: Anything else?
Me: *joking* Yeah, I don't think there'll be quite enough cheese involved in my lunch, so if you could sprinkle a little extra over the top...
Waitress: Sure thing! *walks off*
Lyndsy: I don't think she got that you were joking...
Me: Crap...

My mac and cheese was certainly very cheesy. On the plus side, it didn't taste like bonfire.

What an appropriate way to finish my trip to America - with a nice dose of heart disease ;)

K xx

PS. If you've missed any of this ridiculously drawn out series, you can check them out here:


  1. I love the "Gone Home" on the headstone. I've been looking for a "Gone Surfing" sign for a student of mine that passed away. The photos are gorgeous and I've loved reading about your trip, the way you've done up all the links like that is very useful! Off to read more....

  2. Those photos are awesome, and I love that waitress failing so hard at recognising sarcasm. Maybe you weren't sarcastic enough, though. And the elk were funny! Crossing the zebra crossing. They should rename it an elk- OK! I'm gonna stop before you hurt me.

  3. I'm sitting here in tears - for all the laughter of remembering that day.

  4. I spent several weeks in Estes Park when I and a bunch of other college students were being trained to run mission trip camps through Group Workcamps. We definitely went to that hotel and hung around in the lobby :)

    The sarcasm thing happens to my husband all the time--he makes jokes and then I have to tell him that the person didn't understand he was joking. And he's always like, "Of course they did!!"

    I greatly enjoyed all parts of your U.S. trip recap :)

  5. @Vanisha - 'Gone surfing' would be great! Especially with a surf board pointing in the direction of the nearest beach.
    @Lissa - The elk were kind of hilarious. And thanks!
    @Lynz - It was pretty freaking funny.
    @Kathy - Thanks!
    @Jessica - I really should know better than to make sarcastic jokes around people who don't know me. But I just never learn!

  6. Why are all the leaves yellow? Do they not have other colors on that side of the country? Also, so you know, the term for people who look upon the changing leaves is "leaf peepers." Try to not feel dirty now.

  7. @Lauren - I think because it's only the aspen trees that change colour. There were a few hints of red, but I don't think aspens do the full spectrum change like oaks and other deciduous trees do.


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