It’s an annual event that attracts thousands to our quaint mountain village. A Holiday tradition that is a great time for people of all ages! Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, people enjoy spending time downtown visiting the shops, restaurants, and parks that make up the heart of Estes Park. As the sun begins to set families line Elkhorn Avenue as they anticipate the start of the Catch the Glow Estes Park Holiday Parade.
Many local businesses and organizations create their own floats and start an the west end of Elkhorn Ave and travel east making a turn up Hwy 7 ending in the Estes Park Inn’s property. Lines were long at the local coffee shops with people wanting that warm drink, kids were playing in the parks, and everyone was talking about their wonderful Thanksgiving feast and anticipating the coming Christmas Season. It’s a fantastic event and great way to experience just what this wonderful mountain village has to offer!
This year there will be an ice skating rink right downtown in Estes! It’s across from Bond Park in the parking lot by the Dairy Queen and Casa Grande. We’ll get some pics and more fun stuff when it opens next week. But here is the rundown on cost and hours directly from the town of Estes Park:
LOCATION: 110 EAST RIVERSIDE DRIVE
Southeast corner of Elkhorn Avenue and Riverside Drive
ICE SKATING $2.00
SKATE RENTAL $2.00
OPERATING: November 21, 2012 thru Mid-March 2013 weather dependent.
Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
Saturdays: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sundays: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday11/21/12 & Friday 11/23/12 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursdays & Fridays 11/29/12 – 12/21/12 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Christmas Vacation 12/22/12 thru 1/6/13
Saturdays & Sundays regular operating hours
Mondays 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday thru Friday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Martin Luther King Day, 1/21/13
Presidents Day, 2/18/13
Park School District Parent/Teacher Conferences 2/23/2013
Park School District Early Release Wednesdays 1:00 – 5:00 P.M.
Dec. 12, Jan 9, Jan 23, Feb. 6, Feb.20, Mar. 6.
We have been anticipating our first real snow for a while now. Usually it happens in September or October, so we’re ready for it a bit earlier than most of the country. This latest weather system has been on the radar now for a week as a super cold air mass moved down from the arctic. It arrived yesterday and started snowing lightly at about 4:00 picking up at it got dark. It was so pretty as the first big flakes of the season fell gently from the sky. We had a nice fire going here in the lobby and settled in for a chilly night in the mountains.
The morning broke with low clouds and light snow falling more like a thick mist. The roads were a bit icy, but not too bad, and as the clouds started to break, with the rising sun, some of the mountain tops (like Deer Mountain) were revealed and added a bit of drama to this stunning morning. I walked the property for a few minutes and took some snap shots of the scenery to share with all of you. I hope you enjoy!
The nights are getting cooler and we’re already had a morning in the mid/low teens. No real snow to speak of yet with only a dusting of about an inch last week. But the seasons are changing and these crisp mountain mornings are sure invigorating! The wildlife is very active with Elk Jams along the roads in town and Elk, Mule Deer, Turkeys, and many other critters making daily appearances at the lodge. The leaves are a bit past peak now but still beautiful around town, and everyone is getting ready for all of the winter activities in the mountains around Estes Park! Snowshoeing, mountaineering, ice climbing, skiing, all the good stuff…
I was walking around the property this morning and the Turkeys were down again. They have become regular visitors to the property and are a guest favorite! They let me get fairly close and I got some great shots as they scratched around beneath the bird feeder beside the Chalet Building. Another beautiful morning here at McGregor!
Black Bear at McGregor!
Last night, I was sitting in the lobby and a long time, return, guest got my attention through the window and mouthed that there was a bear right behind the office. I poked my head out to take a peek and sure enough, there he was! This bear was a younger one, but very healthy and jiggled when he walked, so he is doing well on stocking up on food for the winter. I snapped a couple of pics on the phone, then ran over to my car to grab the bigger camera. But it was very near dark, so the pics didn’t turn out all that great.
The Bear kind of meandered around the property and I had to yell at him to get away from the dumpsters, which he didn’t like.. he huffed at me then ran up the hill. But it was only about 30 seconds before he poked his head around the corner eyeing the dumpsters again! ha! So I chucked some pine cones at him and he ran off down toward the office next door at Wildwood Inn. I snapped a couple of shots from a distance after which he ran across the road and down towards the river. A great experience!
And after re-reading this, it sounds like I was doing some very stupid things. But know that I was quite a good distance from the bear and was always near a door to one of the cabins if I needed to hop in one, if he got a little angry. But, as usual, the Bear just didn’t want anything to do with any of us and was more scared than anything. So do know that I treated this animal with respect and certainly kept to a very safe distance.