Pikes Peak Cog Railway & The Stanley Hotel

Saturday, October 16, 2021

 Last year my mom booked us & them a night at The Stanley Hotel for October 2021 and the weekend finally arrived! It's been on my and my mom's bucketlist for YEARS (we're creepy cool like that ;) and I'm so excited we finally got to go! My parents drove all the way from Seattle and almost didn't make it due to snow in Wyoming. I coaxed them into continuing their drive even though roads ahead were closed. But the roads did open and they made it! Hooray! I have a hard time narrowing down photos, so lots of pics comin' your way.

The first morning we went on an excursion to the top of Pikes Peak. Bright and early on Fox's 11th birthday we emailed the school, told them the kids would be absent that day due to a fun adventure with Grandma and Grandpa, and we headed down to Colorado Springs to board the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.

The railway recently reopened after being closed for 4 years and receiving $100 million in upgrades.

Of course I love all the bright colors and flower baskets.
Jane & Fox waiting to board the train.
All aboard!
About 5 minutes into our journey, at a particularly steep incline, as most of the trek is, the train stopped in the middle of the tracks and kept making beeps and weird noises. Not good. When passengers asked the gal giving the tour what was wrong she said, "I dunno, I just work here!" After that raving vote of confidence... I was freaking out. What if we plummeted to our death below? We sat for about 10 minutes then the driver walked briskly past us and to the back of the train. We continued our journey backwards. The conductor drove sight-unseen from the back and the employee sat in the front directing him. It was nuts. Absolutely nuts. What could possibly go wrong? But we made it. So. There's that. Maybe I shouldn't have worried afterall?

Anyway! The views were incredible the entire time!
House in the middle of nowhere.
Beautiful lake. I'd love to hike to it.
We were so high, the trees don't grow here.
Gold mines in the background.
You can also drive your own car up to Pikes Peak. I spy mountain goats on the road. Move little guys! Don't want you to get squashed!
At the top of Pikes Peak. Oh me oh my!
We made it!
Cloudy below, sunny on top.
Jane & Fox at the summit of Pikes Peak.
Me and my mom.
The train that brought us up.
The views were immaculate every which way.
The original Summit House, nothing but ruins now.
It's been replaced with this modern Visitor Center.
It was below freezing so we quickly went inside to get some treats.
Yummy, doughy donuts for the win!
Holy cow did I feel the altitude! I was soooo dizzy! Crazy how that happens when you're so high up!
We had about 15 minutes left to explore before the train went back down.
Kind people offered to take our family photo.
It felt like we were on top of the world.
America the Beautiful was written from this exact spot.
My dad remembers when he was a little boy their family took a vacation and drove up to Pikes Peak. He was so envious of those coming up on the cog railway that he took this photo and loved it enough to scan and save it all those years ago.
FOMO no mo', my dad finally got to ride the train 50 years later!
Cool or fear inducing?!
I spy Fox and Jane.
Cold but happy!
Photo cred to Chris for this one of me on the Peak.
Hi Dald!
The train ride down was uneventful thankfully and we made it home for lunch then birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse with all the other local Evans' to celebrate Fox turning 11. Pics of that event will be in my monthly highlights blog post.

Friday morning we dropped the kids off at school then headed to Estes Park for our Stanley Hotel adventure.
I love the colors of Fall.
If we lost Malm, no worries, we had a spare! But for reals though, they were wearing the exact same red jacket, blue jeans, carrying shopping bags, and their Loui's :) Too funny.
The infamous Stanley Hotel.
It was here that Stephen King stayed the night was inspired to write The Shining.
Decked out for Halloween. YAS!
I love the vintage charm.
The view from my parent's room.
My mom and dad overlooking beautiful Estes Park.
We made it!
Candid snap.
What kind of creepery is this?!
Before dinner, we walked around the grounds and took it all in.
Back when Chris got home from his mission to the Philippines in 2006, I flew out to Denver and joined his family for their annual family reunion hahaha. I'm glad it all worked out :) Anyway, the reunion was based in Grand Lake and on the way there we stopped in Estes Park and The Stanley Hotel! Ever since then I've wanted to stay the night. That was... doing some math... where is my calculator... 2021 - 2006 = 15 years! We were babies! Then:
I love when things come full circle like that.
We had a reservation at the Cascades Restaurant inside the hotel.
Straight out of the movie right?! I half expected Lloyd and Jack to show up.
Gang's all here!
For dessert we drove to Safeway and got ice cream bars. At the floral shop inside they had Halloween bouquets! I love!
At 9pm, my bedtime lol, we went on a ghost tour.
Thrilled to be here.
Our guide was charismatic and awesome.
Communicating with the ghost of Lucy.
Double hehe.
Someone had written REDRUM on the window nearest our rooms! Eeeeek!
The next morning we left for home to wash up, do laundry, and pack for our fall break trip to Disneyland! (Recap coming soon!)
I am so glad that my parents got to visit and check off these bucketlist items. I can't wait to see them again hopefully sooner than later!

Post a Comment

Paige Taylor Evans © // Quinn Creatives DESIGN