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|
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.
|A natural rock wall: old lava flow?|
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 in Kremmling|
|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 at work|