Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ghostly Time at The Stanley

Saturday was here before I knew it which meant it was time for another team run.  This run was optional because of the holidays.  There are a handful of us ready to take on the Eagle Trail though.  It's so nice out there. Very quiet.  In the spring there's a lot of wildlife. We just had a short 45 minute run.  This week was the first week I've run 4 times in a long time. I think that I'm going to do a good 3 runs/week plan with 2 days of hard cross-training and two rest days. I think my knees will appreciate it.  Total mileage this week was just about 15 miles.  This will be the least mileage I'll see until it's time to taper.

Grandma and Grandpa Walker hadn't been to our house in almost two years and wanted to make sure they came up to see all the work we've done.  They brought Margie and Audrey along for the ride.  After a quick tour of all of our improvement projects, we decided to head up to Estes in the hopes of finding some snow for Margie.  Since she grew up in Hawaii she has to get her fill of snow when she can.  Estes Park is just about 25 miles or so from our house.

Our first stop was The Stanley Hotel.  It's beautiful and best known for the movie The Shining.  Apparently the film wasn't actually filmed there but the mini series that followed was.  We had lunch in at The Cascades Restaurant.  It's the same restaurant where the bar scene from Dumb and Dumber was filmed.  I tried an elk burger with sweet potato fries. It was pretty delicious.  Grandpa, Grandpa and I also enjoyed some wine with lunch. I love nice weekend days when it's perfectly acceptable to have wine at lunch.  After lunch we got ourselves signed up for the official ghost tour.  Since we had almost two hours to kill we headed into Rocky Mountain National Park.
RMNP is huge.  We just did a driving tour since it was getting colder and the winds were picking up. We did however make a stop at the snow play area for Margie to get a bit of snow.  We also stopped to take a look at the Estes Park Valley.

It was back to the hotel for the ghost tour.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect but since I hadn't toured The Stanley before I thought it'd be pretty interesting.  When we first started planning I really wanted to get married in Estes and have our reception at The Stanley, but it was a bit out of our price range.  First stop was a brief history of the hotel in the tour office.  Then it was off to the ballroom and music room.  Apparently when there had been a gas explosion about 90 years ago, one of the employees fell right threw the floor into the ballroom. It's said that it is risidually haunted, meaning that often guests and employees hear music and people talking in the room even when there are no events going on.

We went into the smoking and billard rooms.  The smoking room really did smell like cigars even though the hotel has been smoke free for several decades.  It had a beautiful stone fireplace in it. 

Next stop was Room 217.  This is the room where Stephen King actually wrote The Shining.  He had checked into the hotel during a vacation with his wife.  While there he and his wife reported that they had some paranormal experiences.  The hotel was his inspiration for the book.  Here are a few more pictures from his room.

Jim Carey stayed in the same room for three hours.  After three hours he went to the front desk and demanded to be booked anywhere else in the town.  He waited outside until a car came to pick him up.  Something must have really spooked him.  He won't say what happened to this day.

Right outside that room is what they call the vortex.  A lot of people apparently get very dizzy and some won't even stand in the area.  I feel a butterfly in my stomach but that's about it.  At the top of the stairs I did get a bit dizzy.  The forth floor is reportedly the most haunted.

The 4th floor is were the nannies and children stayed while at the hotel.  The tour guide had the kids try to get the ghostly children to come out.  There really was a cold spot in the middle of the hallway where people were holding out their hands.  I caught this pictures, but who knows. Other than the cold spot and some tingling in between my fingers, I didn't feel or see anything.  I find that I'm a bit of a skeptic. 

It was fun touring the hotel and learning about the ghost stories.  I would like to stay there someday.  We tried for our anniversary but everything was booked.  Maybe next year.  After the tour it was time to head back home.  They dropped me off and headed back to Denver.  It was a great visit with the family this weekend.   Hopefully we'll see them over the summer sometime.

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