One of the negatives to staying at Jellystone Estes was that they provide activities throughout the day. This is a positive if you plan on hanging there (like if you’re local and can see RMNP anytime), but not so great when you really came to see RMNP and constantly have your children ask when they are going to be able to watch the Yogi cartoons or do the arts and crafts.
Wednesday we decided to take it easy and give the kids that chance. We were all tired and kind of sore from the hiking and Captain Chaos was battling a tummy bug of some sort. We all slept in (7:30 is late round these parts!) and then headed into Estes to hunt down breakfast. We remembered seeing a sign that advertised a $3.99 breakfast when we had been walking around a couple of days previous, so we set out to locate that establishment. We walked up and down the main drag until realizing that the restaurant we were seeking was actually the Grubsteak. Having not been terrifically impressed on our first visit we stood on the sidewalk debating what to do next. A kind passerby overheard our dilemma and asked, “Are you guys looking for breakfast? Cause there’s a restaurant just down the road that’s the best breakfast in town. It’s called the Big Horn Restaurant.”
We started walking. And walking. And walking. It really wasn’t terribly far, it was just starting to look like we were going to run out of town before we found the restaurant. But find it we did.
We went in and asked for a table. We were shown to a table in the back room that was occupied by another large group and a couple of other couples. We settled in and started checking the menu. Oh, it was all looking good! I went with the biscuits and gravy with sausage.
The coffee was probably the best we had in our entire visit.
The breakfasts were HUGE. And delicious. And filling. We all left stuffed.
We walked (slowly) back to the truck and headed back out to Jellystone.
The rest of the day we filled with various activities –
Painting Boo-Boo suncatcher keychains
Watching Yogi cartoons
Participating in the great Jellystone Revival of 2009
Okay, not really. We were doing the Hokey-Pokey. It just looks like I was overcome by the Spirit.
Being attacked with a broom
Just kidding. They were doing the limbo.
And learning the Macarena
Then we headed over to Hermit Park, which is a state receration area across the street from Jellystone. It was very pretty and had lots of wildflowers, but nothing in the way of maps or suggested hikes. We had heard that there was a hike (supposedly easy) to a point that overlooked Estes. We ran into a Ranger who pointed out the trail, a little over a mile straight up, and also told us about a trail at the end of the road that was 13 miles long that passed some old buildings, pioneers homes and a lumber camp. He also mentioned that bears and Mountain Lions had been spotted around recently. Thanks.
We decided to check out the longer trail with plans of just going a little way. We never made it. Mom, Dad and MOTS went up ahead with Hollywood, Captain Chaos, and I in the back. As it started to sprinkle Hollywood announced that she needed a bathroom, so we turned back. In typical fashion, the rain petered out and we decided to go on into town and check out the Estes Park Tram.
The tram ride itself was interesting enough. Ascending 1,100 feet in less than 5 minutes was amazing. But, the real fun started at the top. In the gift shop they sell peanuts by the scoop. For the chipmunks.
Captain Chaos loved the chipmunks. He called them “munnys” and loved watching them eat num-nums. In fact he would hold up the peanuts and call to them, “Munnys! Munnys! Num-nums!”
We headed up the mountain trail a little way and were deluged by Munnys. They would walk right up and beg for the peanuts. One even climbed into my hand to steal one while I wan’t looking! The kids loved it and it was probably their favorite part.
It was a much needed easy day. Very restful and vacationy! 🙂
All the photos are by my Dad….