The Big Roadtrip 2002!

Loveland, Big Thompson Canyon, and Estes Park, Colorado

- 7 September 2002 -

US Highway 34, rounding the southern edge of Lake Loveland, just west of downtown Loveland, Colorado. 

Note the Rocky Mountains in the background.

US Highway 34, west of Loveland, Colorado. 

US Highway 34, within view of the eastern terminus of Big Thompson Canyon.

The highway continues into the very start of Big Thompson Canyon.

The general lay of the land at this portion reminds me of some of the more-constricted portions of OR 126 heading up the McKenzie River. (Of course, it's a lot more xeric and rutilant in this neck of the woods than it is in western Oregon.)

Man! I thought I was in a canyon before!

But, hey -- those rocks straight ahead look strangely familiar...

I hadn't really driven roads like this before in Oregon.

I hadn't really seen road signs like this before in Oregon.

I hadn't really seen shrubs lik-- 

Well, okay. I guess I had.

More of Big Thompson Canyon.

ݚtagult grfnr ma galtaundi kornignja palntoa xh'Tmpsnta tag xh-na Qhalt. Arrhr!

Phthah. xhPHTHAH n!

Oregon?! Is that you?

I mean, really. Is that you? Because, I mean, you sure look familiar...  

Oh. Colorado. It's you

I mean... um. Boy, this is awkward. It's always odd when you see somebody and you think you know them, but then they turn out to be someone else, y'know? Not that there's anything wrong with being Colorado, after all. Really! It's just that, you know... 

Aw, heckbiscuits. I'll just go stand over here against the wall with cheeks burning from shame.

... Oregon?

The lower foothills are now evident in the distance, as I head back toward Loveland.  

Some pretty cliffs. 

At the start of this soi-disant Lewisian/Clarkite expedition of digital-photographic might that I had launched into the Front Range Rockies, I had been heading eastward. 

However, at some point in the previous few pictures, I had turned westward once again and started heading once more for Loveland; I was due to meet up with my friend Jennie and head back on up US 34 -- yes, that's westward again -- toward Estes Park, which is a scenic resort town located in a high valley of the Rockies.  

Holy flying cow! Or something.

This flying cow is a fixture of this particular touristy shop in Estes Park.  

"But, Yansa, it's just a parking lot!"

Yes. Yes, it is.

"But, Yansa, it's just a business sign!"

Yes. Yes, it is.

"But, Yansa, it's just a bunch of really pretty mountains with a gardened median strip in the middle which is 'guarded', if you can call it that, by a gigantic metallic bighorn sheep!"

Yes. Yes, it is.

The McDonald's may be in the middle of this picture, but it is not its raison d'tre.


The mountains, man. The MOUNTAINS. See! The mountains! See the mountains! See them! Look thou upon them, and marvel! Yea, marvel! And I command you, IGNORE THE MACCA'S. I command and demand this of you! Will you not listen to one such as myself, one who shares many of the characteristics of your humanoid species???


If I kept walking, I'd be in Boulder! ... sometime around November 2019.

Estes Park.

The large red-roofed structure in the middle distance is the Stanley Hotel, which was reportedly the inspiration for the movie "Roger And Throw Momma From The Train ". No. It was supposedly the inspiration for the movie "Fear And Loathing In Manchvegas". No. It is claimed that it was the inspiration for the movie "Stand By Thy Lumpah". No. 

There truly was a movie that was supposedly inspired by that particular hotel in Estes Park, but I'll leave it up to you and Google to discover which is which. You... and Google.

Korgipilrrrrrrrrr... xhQilhi?

Orrxira... medinsk-t parang.

Jennie and I hiked out to the Estes Park Scottish Festival site, but the festival had ended by the time we got out there. We did notice that it seemed like the people in kilts were walking toward us. Nevertheless, it was a fun walk among some pretty scenery. 

The mountains were extra pretty in the slowly-fading light of the early evening. 

Some more of that sort of thing.

Big Thompson River (I think...)

More of that "fading light" business.

Text written on 20 March 2004.
Last updated 19 January 2006.