Estes Park Pie Shop


509 Big Thompson Ave. * Estes Park CO 80517 * 970-577-PIES *

I can’t quite find the word to describe the feeling, seeing one’s former garage contents behind museum glass under the heading, ‘ What they used back then’, but I can try. ‘Kerfuddle’ comes to mind. You see, months earlier I had emptied out my folks’ house and ginormous STUFF ( refer to The Sequoias entry ), some of which was apparantly museum-worthy mountaineering gear. There’s another word for realizing those moldy hats and clippings and strewn-about-junk has historical value which needs to be shipped off, and that’s, ‘areyoukiddingme’. The plus side is while sorting this mess I got to poach any extras I wanted – and now I found myself staring at our garage items and my own camping gear on reverent display at the American Alpine Club in Golden, Colorado.

“ Are you donating that backpack too?!”  A happy docent pointed to my backpack.

“ No! I’m still using it!” I blurted, clutching it tighter.

And truly I was. The reason I passed through the American Alpine Club was our garage storage had scored new digs, and I wanted to check it out. Afterwards I planned to visit my Dad’s best friend who has done measly things like the west traverse of Everest. Dad’s friend’s name was helpfully written in marker across the back of the day pack, so my excuse for couch surfing was to return it to the rightful owner. Meanwhile that pack was still in great shape so why not keep it alive and exploring?

You can’t visit mountaineers without bringing food, and if you listen closely you can hear my brakes squealing,  *ERT!* when I spied a sign that said, “You need pie!”  Why yes! YES! I do need pie always! Everyone gets pie!

Estes Park Pie Shop is located in the gateway to Rocky Mountain National park, surrounded by stunning mountains and many elk and stores that will make you wish you’ll never see another wooden carved bear in your goddamn life. Not knowing what our family friends would like, I picked up three kinds of pie.  Again, this is where my notes went kablooie, but I do recall a multiberry, a peach, and an apple. The trick with the apple was, Estes Park Pie Shop has different kinds of crust ; crumble, pastry, or lattice. My goodness! In the name of fairness, I won’t reveal the preferences of Sir Mountain Climber and his gorgeous wife. I will tell you this: Estes Park pie after a hike is divine!

Also divine were the hiking views. Kathy ( wife of climber ) patiently took me on a Rocky Mountain hike which was spectacular despite me dumping my head in puddles to cool off. On the way back down the loop we ran across a ranger’s hiking llamas. I know they exist but had never seen one in person so close, nor did I realize they were so expressive. Here’s one featured on historical binder paper with what turned out to be historical tent sweepers, who knew:


 History buffs can ogle fascinating tent sweepers in the American Alpine Club museum, or via docent tour of Astrid’s gear. Decidedly younger pie and llamas are best viewed by Estes Park Pie Shop.  And the famous backpack? It’s now officially part of Astrid’s pie hunting and camping tools. Onward!

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Surfing and Strolling near Estes Park Pie Shop

SURFING: Noot. But there’s couch surfing all over Colorado. I hope.

STROLLING: Rocky National Park. During every little day hike I swear I could hear the angles singing ‘AAAAAAA!’ It’s that beautiful. Big caveat, as a surfer – aka sea level denizen – expect to suck wind at altitude while getting passed by people, dogs, llamas, insects, etc…use this time to take photos and dump your head in scenic puddles if you’re an overheater like myself.


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