September 14, 2011: Rawlins to Rocky Mountains

We woke up and had a nice breakfast with the other guests that were staying at the mansion which led to us immediately going to prison….

We had found out at breakfast that we were staying right down the street from an old historic prison that has been used as a setting in horror movies and offers tours of the building and grounds….how can you pass that up before lunch?

The Wyoming Frontier Prison was used in the horror flick aptly named “Prison” and also used to actually hold prisoners back in the day.  As we started off on our tour of the old building, we quickly saw why it was chosen for a horror flick as it is a really run down, moldy, dark, moody, old prison.  I kept expecting to be ambushed by some forgotten prisoner but we made it through without any incidents or accidental cell lockings.

After the tour, we broke out of prison and into daylight and made a run for the car before they realized we had escaped.  We fishtailed our way out of Rawlins and soon found ourselves on the road to Rocky Mountain National Park. After we had gotten a safe distance away we decided for a quick stop at a little lake along the way.

While enjoying the scenic little lake I was unaware of the fact that I was only an hour or two away from the most disturbing, dangerous, and exhilarating drive of my life. We continued on and soon hit the the park entrance where we gave the customary nod to the gate attendant before peeling off into the park.

We started off pretty level both in the slant of the car and mentally but this was not our fate for long.  We started to climb in elevation at a rapid pace and I started having flashbacks to my day driving the bear tooth pass about a week ago.  After a good half hour of climbing we reached the biggest fork in the road I have ever seen…the continental divide.

After playing the whole “one foot on each side of the divide” game, we continued on our way into the clouds.  When I say into the clouds, this is no exaggeration as we soon found ourselves completely socked in with visibility down to mere inches.  After being in the same state as grizzly bears, I had thought I was ready to face any challenge but this drive left me completely paralyzed with fear. I was soon screaming at the driver not to use his breaks at all because I was afraid we would skid right off the road and over a cliff….I was also screaming at him to slow down which left everyone in a state of confusion, myself included.

Just when I thought my nerves were going to be permanently damaged, we blasted out of the clouds and back into the realm of reality.  Breathing a sigh of relief, we descended into the town of Estes Park and after getting a little lost due to  our delirium, we finally saw our destination…the Stanley Hotel spring up before us.  This is the hotel The Shining was based on because Steven King stayed there and thought he saw some ghosts.  Its just speculation, but he may have taken the same delusional inducing route we had just taken before he spent the night.

I strapped on my proton pack and warned my companions not to think of any gigantic walking marshmallows as we headed into the hotel.  We checked in and then headed up to our spooky rooms where I was pleased to find The Shining playing on a continuous loop on the tv since this is what I always fall asleep to back home.  We did some sight seeing of the hotel where you never knew if you were passing a real person or one of the ghosts. After finally freaking ourselves out enough to work up a hearty appetite, we decided to hit the town for a nice dinner before calling it a night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.