Estes through the eyes of a child – Estes Park Trail-Gazette

I have to admit that I may have recently realized that I had committed the ultimate sin at Estes Park, I had started to take it for granted.

My fault. Working in this magical place and taking it for granted is perhaps something we all do on occasion. Last week I was reminded of how magical Estes Park is and I’m ashamed I took it all for granted. Yes, the beauty of this city, the businesses that occupy it and the people that live there are exactly that: magical.

Last week I had the opportunity to watch my eight year old granddaughter for a morning due to an emergency and had the pleasure of taking her with me on a few dates in the city. As we drove towards Estes she continually pointed out all the amazing things along the way including the river, the birds, the views.

When we pulled up on US34, she yelled, “Dad, look at the mountains and all the snow, they’re so beautiful.”

She kept repeating it and pointing out how the sky was so blue above them! Watching them, I couldn’t help but smile at her comments, realizing that she was so right. She immediately asked me if I wanted to take her near the stables and the Mustang Mountain Coaster, places she had already visited. We pulled into the Mountain Coaster parking lot and again just watched the mountains, the birds and the beauty of Estes from this unique location.

We then went to the Stanley Hotel as I had been invited to see the new Keeper’s Cottage which opened on the Stanley campus this weekend as part of the tours they offer. Owner John Cullen was phenomenal with her and showed her this great destination in a way most have never seen, treating her with the utmost respect and care imaginable.

She saw the maze, the 100 year old elevator and the amazing new chalet. She loved the old Stanley Steamers and again as we walked out the main entrance she noticed how beautiful Estes and the mountains were there. This is a sight I have seen many times over the years and had simply forgotten how beautiful it was!

When in Estes, it’s always a good idea to stop and look around once in a while.

Mr. Cullen kindly invited her back and once we got in the car she asked if we could come back that evening to eat with her new friend and do a ghost tour. I had to explain to her that we were to come back another day and she said to me: “you are so lucky to be here every day, dad!

We then went to another of her favorite places, a local candy store. My granddaughter insisted that she buy her Nana one of the best caramel apples in the world, and she wanted one too. We then walked past Trout Heaven and she yelled, “That’s where I caught a fish last year, remember how big it was daddy?”

As we continued on our way, she couldn’t help but point out the things she remembered and loved about Estes, like the river and the golf course where she had seen elk before.

As I left, I looked out over the city and thought, “I have the most magical, spectacular office with Estes Park as a backdrop!” Nothing better than any other place on this earth.

Sadly, I had to remember seeing this beautiful place through the eyes of my eight-year-old granddaughter.

My friends, we all work and live in a magical place, which is a blessing for sure and a sin to take for granted.

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