After yesterday's debacle when we were rained out of our chance to take photos in RMNP, we decided to retrace partly our route, as the weather was more cooperative today. You will remember how we gushed in the last post about the majesty of the Rockies, so I will not be so effusive here, although our enjoyment of today's trip was just as great--perhaps even more so with the improved weather. Since there were still some lingering clouds near the higher peaks, the light for photos was not ideal, but we think our shots turned out pretty well.
Looking eastward toward Estes Park...
Long's Peak (14,259 ft.) is in the distance:
Here's one of my favorites with stately Long's Peak in the background:
Sandy is freezing here in the cold wind; it's 49 degrees outside (sorry, Texas friends):
Here's another favorite; I love the little scrubby trees growing out of the rocks:
Here's a photo of the Alpine Visitor Center at elevation 11,700 feet; we returned to Estes Park from here:
We enjoyed today's trip through the park every bit as much as yesterday's, and we feel so fortunate to be able nowadays to travel the country and enjoy seeing God's handiwork.
I also have a couple more restaurant reviews for you. Lunch today was at Grubsteak, a newish sandwich place in downtown Estes Park.
I'm pleased to report that our food was very good, although the service was a little slow. I'm cutting the servers a little slack here, because it was the Labor Day weekend, and the whole town, including the restaurant, was a madhouse; you couldn't stir people with a stick. Sandy had a grilled chicken sandwich with guacamole and bacon, and I had a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Both were flavorful and expertly prepared, which is amazing, since the kitchen must have been slammed.
Dinner was at Grumpy Gringo Mexican Restaurant on highway 34 east of town. I just had to try this place in honor of whoever dreamed up the name:
Sandy and I shared a taco/enchilada/tostada plate with a side of green chile sauce--as you know, a favorite of mine (not pictured here).
I'll give this place three out of five stars because of the attractive and clean surroundings, the moderately good food and the server, a young man who was oh, so eager to please. His attentiveness, however, was not without blemish, as he annoyingly and incessantly referred to Sandy and me as "you guys"--so much so that he seemed compelled to include the term in every sentence:
"Can I get you guys something to drink?"
"Are you guys ready to order?"
"How does everything taste to you guys?"
Dropping off the check: "No need for you guys to hurry; I'll just leave this for whenever you guys are ready."
"You guys have a nice trip, thanks for coming in."
As he was probably not older than 18, I gave him a pass; that habit will probably diminish after someone calls him on it and embarrasses him. It was not I, however, who would admonish him this day. Sandy appeared relieved that I held my tongue and merely smiled.
Perhaps my benevolence was influenced by a sudden reflection about our daughter Mindy when she was a teenager and who, along with her peers, tended to use the word "like" irrationally in every sentence. Anyone who knows me well is aware of my obsession with the correct use of English, so her perfidy caused me no end of aggravation. (Yes, this is probably a neurosis of mine, but as neuroses go, this one has an upside for a blog writer: For example, I never allow a participle to dangle, and I never split an infinitive.) As a means to dissuade her from continuing this fiendish behavior, I began to deduct from her allowance 25 cents for each iteration of "like" that she improperly used. After about a week, she ended up owing ME money, and her misuse of the word suddenly vanished. You may be interested to know that she is now herself a whiz at the mechanics of English and attributes her success largely to the torment of my tutelage during her adolescence. Her father, of course, is terribly proud of her.
Sorry, I digressed; I think the older I get, the more my mind wanders. Let's return to the review: I also give kudos to the Grumpy Gringo for their green chile sauce. I am beginning to be a true aficionado of this marvelous condiment, and Grumpy's version was really quite tasty. Bringing the score down from four stars were the chips and salsa, which were unremarkable--probably off the shelf--and the enchilada, which was flat and unimaginative. I would eat here again just to try some other things, but unless the downside items improve, I would probably not be a regular customer.
By the way, the prices for today's restaurants were in keeping with the overall retail gouging here in Estes Park--about 25 percent more expensive than elsewhere.
Ta-ta for now; the next post will feature our visit to the Stanley Hotel.