Intermission @ Estes Park, CO

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 23132 – 1134

Howdy, Herbophiles,

Here’s the haps:

I’m calling this an intermission because we didn’t spend a whole day here although afterward we wished we would have. We slept in and lazed around until checkout time from Boulder. We originally planned to leave earlier but the play was late, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.

We have been wanting to see Estes Park, which is right on Rocky Mountain National Park, for a while, now. The drive was beautiful and we arrived around noonish. We know this is way too late to see any animals so we went to the visitor’s center for local information. They have a free public trolley (One of these:

not one of these:

for you other English speakers) you can ride around town and leave your car parked. This was good for the nerves, letting someone else drive that knows where they are going.

The “main street” was filled with several blocks of shops, restaurants, and “Housemade” (Is it really that important to change from the term homemade? I could figure out you didn’t make it at your house and bring it to your shop, couldn’t others?) Ice cream shops.

Since our first order of business was to get away from Boulder as fast as possible and not buy the hotel’s overpriced breakfast, we were hungry. Our trolley driver, George, pointed out a couple of places he likes and we went to a place with the likely sounding name of The Grubsteak. Being fans of Westerns we appreciated the wordplay on grubstake. Mrs. Herb and I both had Cheddar Burgers that were big and juicy and delicious and not cooked down to hockey pucks. They impressed her because when she asked if they would fry the onions that went on the hamburger and the guy said, “Sure. We can do that.” The onion rings were good as well and we could have had elk or buffalo or yak but since we had never been here before we decided to see how they did with regular beef.

We went in and out of several shops and Mrs. Herb found a gift for one of the grandkids and a sweatshirt for herself (it was raining on and off). I didn’t know taffy could be such a cutthroat business either but with a number of different shops selling it, I suppose you have to single yourself out somehow. One shop had a machine stretching taffy in the window with a sign that read, “All of our taffy is made by hand in this shop and pulled on this machine.” In the next block was a shop with a similar looking machine with a sign that said, “This machine is for display purposes only. All of our taffy is made in our modern kitchens in Loveland, Colorado.” I bet there is a big story in that, but we didn’t have time to get into it just then.

I like good, honest salespeople who really believe (or convincingly act like they believe) in their product so when a teenage young man spoke up to me and said, “Excuse me, sir, would you like a 10% off coupon for ice cream? We have the best ice cream in town right here.” I had to go there. In a tourist town like that where everything is pricey, you know that 10% doesn’t go far but he was the only guy standing outside hawking coupons and he had such a confident attitude that he sold me right away. We had just been thinking about having ice cream and there were several shops to pick from but this was the only one with someone outside. Mrs. Herb had Banana Cream Pie flavor and I had a scoop of Peaches and Cream and a scoop of chocolate. Both were delectable.

We decided that we are going to drop Manitou Springs as a destination and replace it with Estes Park. We relucted to leave but we had nonrefundable reservations down the road.


  1. Wow, “elk or buffalo or yak”. I wonder if they taste differently. We have a restaurant around here on Rutgers campus that do exotic meat, but I’ve never been there. I am not very adventurers on exotic dishes.

  2. I used to work with a guy who discovered Estes Park and it became a perennial favorite vacation spot for his family for years and years.

    My research shows that ice cream and candy eaten on a vacation has fewer calories and more health benefits than the same stuff consumed at home in a recliner.

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