Road Trip 2008 - Day Two: Grand Island Nebraska to Estes Park, Colorado

After a restful night at the Grand Island Ho Jo, we headed back onto I-80 West toward Colorado. Around Julesburg, Nebraska we got onto I-76 to Fort Morgan and from there took CO-34 due West through the towns of Greeley and Loveland, then up into the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This day's journey was relatively shorter than the day before. We drove for 6.5 hours, covering 475 miles.

Our destination for the day was Estes Park, Colorado, a very quaint and beautifully situated town at the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. The town itself sits at an altitude of 7522 feet and the curving mountainous road leading up to it provided a drastic (and welcomed) change of scenery from the prior day's drive. As you enter the town, you pass the infamous Stanley Hotel, which is said to be haunted and was the inspiration for Stephen King's novel The Shining after he spent a night there.

In Estes Park, we rented a private cottage for two nights at the very lovely Sunny Knoll Resort just a little further up the mountain from the town's center. The cottage was fabulous and came equipped with an indoor hot tub (with a large skylight overhead), a completely furnished kitchen, living room and bedroom, and a secluded patio with a view out onto the mountain. The staff overseeing the resort were very cool. The owner had migrated from Chicago some 30 years prior and one of their staff had recently moved there from our very own Rogers Park.

The route through the mountains to Estes Park, climbing to an elevation of 7522 feet.


Onward to Day Three: Estes Park, Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park

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