Estes Park

Welty family reunions have most often converged on Estes Park, Colorado in a valley surrounded by foothills and the Rockies. One of my first memories was seeing Damn Yankees at a Drive in Theater when I was ten or so. Love the scene with canibals putting missionaries in a soup pot. Ten years later we saw Anne of a Thousand Days in the tiny downtown theater.

Its always been a tourist Mecca and even my cousins are astonished at its carpeting of new housing developments. The general level of material wealth is worth comparing to what I saw in China. Even if China’s GNP overtakes that of the United States they won’t likely match such places at Estes which has a hundred years headstart in developing creature comforts.

Its impressive rock architecture like this that helps give the community its ambiance:

And roving herds of elk overrunning gardens that seperate it from other locales:

An employee of the Stanley Hotel was busy shooing this bull away from the grounds along with his harem when our family stopped by for cocktails. The Stanley was the inspiration of Stephen King’s “The Shining.”

Much of what I’ve said of Estes could be said of Duluth as well at least as compared to China. Unlike the expanding Chinese Cities ours spread out into single family homes. The Chinese are expanding up as well but into apartment generic blocks.

As with our trip to China a few weeks ago national news was hard to ignore. As always Seth Meyers is a wonderful antidote. I loved this piece of his.

I also enjoyed Facebooking my weekend and appreciated my freedom to do so after being frozen out of Facebook while in China. Furthermore my reunion saw the first time that I wasn’t with my wife during our anniversary. Claudia was with two very handsome boys in the Dells and our anniversary communications were all Facebooked.

I’ll be heading home in a couple hours and to a birthday party for one of those boys. I’ll be taking him to the path of the total eclipse on Sunday and I bought eclipse sun glasses at the Visitors Center at Rocky Mountain National Park. Its been a busy August and from reports I got while in Colorado from back home School Board politics are heating up. I’ll start going door to door soon but I know that voters don’t pay much attention to local elections until Labor Day.