One of our many pets visited tonight. She even likes to be petted. She brings two young deer with her. One still looks like Bambi with spots. She would follow us into our house if we let her. She will stand on the deck and look into the windows. Her favorite food is animal crackers. Seems like cannibalism to me. LOL This is Karen feeding her dinner.
We are frequently asked, "what's behind the Overlook?" A picture says a thousand words. There is nothing but forest and mountain behind the Overlook. We are on the side of Eagle Cliff Mountain with the Rocky National Park behind the Overlook. This is one of the reasons we have so many visiting animals.
It was a beautiful evening to watch the Blood Moon from the Overlook last night. This is a shot just before the eclipse. The mountain directly in front of the Overlook is Prospect mountain. During the day, you can watch the Estes Park Tramway climbing up and down on the left side of this mountain with many a chipmunk waiting for a peanut. Just to the right of the moon is Giant Track mountain. During the day you can watch horseback riders weaving back and forth as the climb up and down the mountain from Glacier Resort Stables. The field directly in front of the Overlook is a popular place for the Elk Rut. You can watch the bulls fighting over the cows as the cows watch with little interest.
What would be more appropriate than to stay at the Overlook and attend the Shining Ball at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Reserve NOW for this fun filled weekend. For a fraction of the price of rooms at the Stanley, you and your friends can reserve the entire Overlook. Hit the More Info button to reserve your haunted vacation at the Overlook.
Beginning October 24th, the Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for the horror movie the Shining, will be holding its annual Halloween Extravaganza. This includes a costume party, murder mystery theater, haunted tours, etc.
Push the button below for more details.
I’m often asked by Vacation Rental Wannabes, what they should consider when renting a vacation rental. Below are some of my thoughts for those of you new to vacation rentals.
· Are you renting from someone reputable? Have you verified that they do exist and the home is real?
· Is there a safe way to pay for the rental where if necessary you can get your money back?
· Is there a straight forward refund policy for cancellations? Is it reasonable?
· Is the home up to code? Are the stairs and decking safe? Is there an easy exit from all the bedrooms?
· Are there fire alarms in all the bedrooms?
· Are there carbon monoxide detectors in all the bedrooms?
· Does the home look clean including the beds, kitchen, etc.?
· Is there dangerous clutter inside or outside the home?
· Is there a bear safe trash can?
· Is the bear safe trash can away from the main entrance?
· Is there a fire extinguisher visible and up to code?
· Is there outside lighting and motion detectors?
· Is there video and/or security surveillance?
· Are there deadbolts on all of the doors?
· Can you see your car from the home to ensure it is safe?
· Does the neighborhood seem safe?
· Is the owner available in case of a question, concern or emergency?
· Is there emergency information available?
· Is the property fenced with limited access to unwanted animals and potential criminals?
· Do you feel safe in general when in the home, outside in the yard, etc.?
Before you arrive, here are some important things to consider about your visit to Estes Park
Weather – Because of the proximity of the mountains, the weather can change dramatically without notice. No matter what type of year you visit, you should always bring several layers of clothing. Even in summer, if you go into the Rocky Mountain National Park, you will find snow at the higher elevations. I remember my brother visiting from Pennsylvania several years ago in July. We traveled up Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitor Center at the Continental Divide. He wore shorts and sandals. He had to climb over 4 foot deep snow during the hike. During the summer, it is usually in the 70s or 80s during the day. However, it gets into the low 50s at night. Up at the continental divide, there will be snow all summer and temperatures will regularly be in the 40s with strong wind. During the winter, it can get very windy and cold in Estes. We will only have a dozen or so days below zero. However, the sun can quickly warm the soil and melt the snow. In Estes, we only have ½ the snow they have in the lower valley in places like Loveland and Fort Collins. However, due to the wind, this snow can be redistributed for several weeks. Occasionally, we can have deep snow. In the last 10 years, the deepest snow we have had at one time was 40 inches in May. It took about a week to melt and made the soil very muddy. During the spring and fall the weather can change dramatically. It is not unusual to have 50 to 70 degree temperature change in 24 hours. Again, no matter when you visit, think layers of clothing and be prepared if you go to higher elevations for snow and hail any time of the year.
Elevation – Elevation is one of the factors that few people think about, but everyone should. At higher elevations you need to drink more fluids. If you immediately come from sea level to Estes Park at 8,000 feet, you might feel like you have the flu for a couple of days. This includes headaches and feeling sick. It is recommended that you spend a day or two in Estes relaxing before doing anything strenuous. Also remember to drink lots of fluids. Not necessarily alcohol. Many people that drink alcohol find that they feel drunk after only a single drink at this elevation. Every year, many people are taken by ambulance to lower elevations to adjust to the elevation changes. So remember, drink lots of water, be careful drinking alcohol, and take the time to adjust to the elevation before doing anything strenuous.
Animals – Many people arrive in Estes and are worried about the threat of animals. In most situations, this is greatly exaggerated. The highest risk is during the fall when people get too close to the Elk or Deer. During the rutting season, which is September and October, these animals can be unpredictable. It is best to keep your distance and be sure you don’t find yourself between a mother and her babies. Most people worry more about bears. However, it is unlikely you will see a bear and even if you do, they don’t want anything to do with humans. We only have black bears that prefer roots and berries. They are relatively shy. The biggest mistake is leaving foot outside or in your car. Bears are notorious for opening doors of cars and searching for food. You should always leave your car door locked. The worst thing that could happen is a bear gets into your car and the door closes. Unable to exit the car, they will destroy the interior of your car.
Lightning – Lightning kills more people each year than all of the animals combined. As you go to higher elevations, lightning becomes a bigger threat. If there is a lightning storm, move to lower elevations quickly. Take this seriously. It really can kill you.
Ticks and Insects – There are much fewer insects in Estes Park than lower elevations. During the spring we have a couple week of ticks. Beware, we do have Rocky Mountain Tick Fever that is carried by ticks. If you are visiting in March or April, be sure to have bug spray with DEET to discourage these creatures. In the fall, we often have a couple weeks of yellow jackets that enjoy a good barbeque. If you are outside barbequing in September, it is likely you will see some of these local wasps. They usually don’t care about you, only your food. However, they can be annoying.
Snakes – In 40 years, I’ve never seen a snake in Estes Park. I hear there can be some non-poisonous snakes. However, this is extremely rare. There are no poisonous snakes at this elevation.
Texans – Watch out for these unpredictable creatures. As an alumni of Ohio State University, these football fanatics scare me. LOL!
September can bring dramatic temperature swings. It is usually in the 70's during the day and the 40's at night. However, there is a 50% chance of snow some time in September. If it does snow, it will usually be gone in a few hours. September is when the trees begin to change, the bears begin to eat vigorously before their hibernation, and the Elk begin their rutting season. There are many events in Estes Park during this time of the year. This includes the Elk Rutting Season, Scottish Irish Festival, etc. By the end of September many business will change to winter hours. This is often a very busy time in Estes Park and the surrounding areas. In fact, it is one of my favorite times.