We left Denver as rain began to fall. As we headed north through Boulder towards our final destination of Estes Park, it got heavier, to the point that visibility was extremely limited, which is just great when you are climbing up into the mountains! Not that we could really see them, but the fact that our ears kept popping gave us a clue. It was about an hour & a half drive to get up to Estes Park, and just outside town at the highest point we reached we saw Ravencrest Chalet, a Bible school that many people we know have attended. I wanted to stop in case someday one of the kids want to go there...we thought having seen it, the thought of attending a school so far from home might be a little less daunting to them someday. Hmmm...after our experience, maybe not. We turned off the main highway onto a gravel road and started climbing higher & higher. At this point we were in the midst of a full-fledged thunderboomer when we finally saw this old chalet at the top of the mountain. There were no lights on but we thought we'd knock and see if anyone was there. There were big old wooden doors with a big old knocker and just as we prepared to knock the biggest bolt of lightning and wild thunder struck. We felt like running....felt like a scene from a horror movie, really. Finally someone came to the door and was very kind and welcoming and gave us a nice tour of the place, which really seems like a neat place to go to school. The girl told us on the third floor she could take us out on the balcony so we could see the beautiful view of the town of Estes Park below. She obviously had not been outside yet that day, because in that thick fog you couldn't see your hand if you held it in front of your face! http://www.capernwray.org.uk/worldwide/ravencrest.html
We arrived at our hotel, the Best Western Silver Saddle, by 6 PM. I looked forward to this hotel because it had been picked as one of the Top 20 Best Westerns in the United States! You should have seen the kids when we checked into our room. I actually came in first, saw it, then ran out to get the video camera to record them as they saw the room. It was a nice suite, but the cool thing was that there were three queen beds in a row in the bedroom. After the tight confines of that "fancy" Hyatt, they were thrilled! Later I stopped at the front desk and thanked the agent for the room. They asked which room it was, and I said 153, and she said, "Oh, we call that the bowling alley!" http://www.estesresort.com/
By this time the kids were tired and hungry. Alan suggested that we get them a pizza & a movie and go out to dinner, since this is our 18th anniversary! This suggestion made everyone happy! While out to get the pizza, Alan & I stopped at Safeway to get some groceries. There were so many outlaw/cowboy kind of guys there. I wanted to ask them if they were playing dress-up or if they were for real. But many of them had holsters on too so I just steered my cart very clear of them and tried not to stare too much. If only they would smile now & then, they'd look a little friendlier. But I guess that wouldn't fit their image. It's funny how in Lancaster County I don't think twice about seeing Amish pull up in their horse & buggy and shop at the grocery store, but out here it really scared me to see these bandito guys in the grocery floor. Glad Alan was there with me.