Friday, July 5, 2013

Kremmling, CO

Day 48: Friday, July 5, 2013
Walden to Kremmling: 80 miles

As with just about every town, Walden was on the railroad at one time. No longer. But it had its caboose. I think they intended to develop a park around it. But they hadn't made much progress.

Walden's forlorn caboose
Walden's forlorn caboose

Rock walls of the type shown in the photo below intrigued me in 1981. Here's another. I don't know the exact method by which they came into existence. One possible explanation is that lava from an ancient volcano flowed through a crack in the mountain's rock. Over millions of years, the softer rock to either side of the lava weathered and crumbled away, leaving the lava ridge. Sounds good to me.

natural rock wall
A natural rock wall: old lava flow?

more flowers
More flowers!

There's not much in Kremmling. Oh, it has a very modern mercantile - you or I would call it a supermarket. And it has the Hotel Eastin. The Hotel Eastin has a lot going for it, primarily due to the current proprietors, Walt and Maryann - who happen to be, originally, from South Bend, Indiana, which is right next door to where I grew up. The hotel itself is over 100 years old. Maryann, for 14 years, ran a hotel in Estes Park. But it wasn't theirs. They had had their eye on the Hotel Eastin for some time. Four years ago, it came up for sale. Someone else - they happened to be Czechs, with no hotel experience - made a better offer than Walt and Maryann could. Within a few years, they had driven the business into the ground. They were rude to customers, service was terrible - they ended up just locking the doors and walking away. Walt and Maryann made a deal with the former owner, and have put a lot of money into fixing the place up. They're a charming couple, and go out of their way to please the customers. Their rates are low - too low, I think. I really enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Eastin.

Walt and Maryann are very civic-minded. They instituted a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Walt is Santa Claus. The owner of the mercantile said, "You can't be Santa without a sleigh and reindeer!" So he had a sleigh built, and is getting some reindeer, and will keep them at his ranch. Walt and Maryann have been in Kremmling only a year or so, and they're making a difference. If you ever go to Kremmling, stay at the Hotel Eastin. And give them a generous bonus for their capital improvement fund.

the Hotel Eastin
The Hotel Eastin in Kremmling

Walt and Maryann
Walt and Maryann in the lobby of the Hotel Eastin

I can't remember exactly where I met David Freeze. After all, as I'm writing this, it's been something like ten days ago, and one day just blurs into another. But when I arrived at the Hotel Eastin, I found him there ahead of me, out in the courtyard, working away. He writes two blogs for the Salisbury Post in North Carolina - one about his bicycle trip, and another about running. He said he's a farmer. But he's definitely multi-talented. He's a strong rider. We'll be seeing each other over the next few days, I'm sure.

David Freeze
David Freeze at work


  1. Hey, you failed to mention that when you departed Walden, you diverged from our 1981 route through Rocky Mountain National Park. I suspect it's because, back then, we chose to leave the TransAmerica Trail for the challenge and adventure of that 12,000-foot pass (and because I was headed to Denver) and this time around, you are probably sticking to the true TransAmerica route.

    1. Yeah, that totally slipped my mind when I was doing the writeup. But I'm now off the TA Trail and back on our old route. Details to follow, of course, as soon as I can get the blog caught up to where I really am. And, given the date, I also have a Re-evaluating My Goals entry to write.


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