What vacation would be complete without a few new books to remind me of the great time I had while away? Most of these are from that wonderful little museum I visited in Estes Park. They had a small but well stocked gift shop and I had a hard time deciding which books to bring back with me. The two booklets about The Old Fall River Road and Trail Ridge Road I bought in the Park. They are nice reminders of where I was and what I saw.
I am both fascinated by and curious about the history of Estes Park now. It has such an interesting and rich history. I have very little recollection of it, but apparently when I was really little we had a family trip that included a short day spent in Estes. I only remember visiting the (now defunct) Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. Since Estes is a resort town, there has been an abundance of post cards and memorabilia and much of it is collected in Rocky Mountain Tour: Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, & Grand Lake by Suzanne Silverthorn. It's a glossy book filled with photos--mostly then and now sorts with lots of postcards and old photos.
Estes Park: Beginnings by Kenneth Jessen is all old B&W photos of Estes Park with some text. Both books are quite browse-able and fascinating to look at.
My best find is a book I discovered in the YA section, though it is tagged simply as History/Women. It was published this year and likely in honor of the National Park's Centennial, Dining Room Girl: The Summer of 1926 at the Horseshoe Inn by Kay Turnbaugh and Lee Tillotson. Another book chock full of old photographs, this one is based on a young woman's diary. Eleanor Parker was a new college graduate from Iowa who spent the summer of 1926 working in the Horseshoe Inn. It was the heyday of the resort and I can't wait to read it and really study the photos.
I have a feeling this is going to set me off on another reading path!
I admit the books in this stack are purely indulgences as I might have found them locally. But vacations are meant to be treats. A tee shirt and a few books seems reasonably restrained in my opinion. Besides it is always nice to support the local economy and in this case a small, independent bookstore. If you are ever in Estes, make sure you visit Macdonald Bookshop. If I could own a bookstore I would want it to be just like this one! I bought three books I had not come across before:
Solsbury Hill by Susan M. Wyler -- " . . . a contemporary take on a classic love story is utterly beguiling. Solsbury Hill is a gorgeously well-written tale of a fraught affair that takes you from New York to the wild gothic setting of the Yorkshire Moors." I hope it is as good as it looks.
I read another book by Peter Pagnamenta a number of years ago, and recall enjoying it quite a lot. I liked the sound of Prairie Fever: British Aristocrats in the American West 1830-1890. English Victorians in the American West--sounds like a fun read.
And one more with a bit more Western (though transplanted to New York) flair, David Fuller's Sundance. It is a reworking of the Butch Cassidy/Sundance Kid story. What if Harry Longbaugh lived and decided to go find his wife once he had been released from prison. To be honest I am not usually one to read Western Literature, but every now and again I have an urge to pick something outside my comfort zone up! Now I have lots of bookish reminders of my long weekend spent in the park. I am already looking forward to going back.