Breakfast at the Lodge
I have such fond memories of this sweet, lodge-y place! Don and I ate here over 15 years ago, with our kids and another family, after a visit to nearby Mount Evans. I remember loving the Lincoln Log Look of the octagonal restaurant.
Mostly, I remember the relief of stepping inside with our 4 hungry children who only moments before had been crabby and woozy from altitude! Echo Lodge was as comforting as Grandma's house!
Now and Then
Echo Lake Lodge is no longer a lodge. The sign tells us, it's a restaurant and gift shop and yes, it has film! I can't remember the last time I bought film.
The lodge was built in 1926 to accommodate visitors to Denver Mountain Parks. Although I heard somewhere that it had been a brothel. Not sure about that.
During WWII, the lodge was used as a high altitude training camp for the military.
The lodge is at 10,600 feet. That's high enough to make me feel winded. So it's funny to remember that day, when Echo Lodge felt blissfully low. We all felt like Echo Lake Lodge was at sea level, after coming down from the top of Mount Evans, at 14,271 feet.
Don and I returned to Echo Lake Lodge early last June. I was happy to see the chocolate brown building!
I love shapes, so this wonderful structure appealed to me. This was the original shape of the lodge. A year later they added a wing.
We climbed the stairs and entered the building. Since we are huge fans of historic hotels and lodges, it was killing me to know we could no longer book a room in this wonderful place.
But we could shop! And we could chat. The woman behind the jewelry counter had been working there for 32 years. She said Barb was the current owner, since 1989. "But, she won't be coming in today. She's been ill..."
I spotted 2 openings, one with a sign for the dining room and the other for cocktails.
My new friend Denise, at the jewelry counter, warned me. "There's a 2 drink limit of cocktails!" Luckily I was only in need of a peek. It looked more like a soda fountain to me!
Some curly horned sheep met us at the front of the dining room.
I have fond memories of our visit to Mount Evans years ago and spotting a few real, curly horned sheep, climbing up in the rocks.
Pick of the Place
At 10:30 am, we had a pick of all the tables. Everyone else seemed to be buying tee shirts and postcards. There were lots of windows and many large tables, with old cafe chairs.
There was a sweet set of Old Hickory chairs next to a piano. They seemed to be inviting Don and me to play a duet with Don... but I'm not sure we could even pull off Chopsticks! It looked like an old stone fireplace, at the end of the room. A roaring fire would have been cozier than that funny, vintage heater.
Don and I picked a corner table in the front.
My French toast was perfectly-old-timey-tasty! Don's ham & egg scramble, with hash browns, was gone before I got a picture.
Don had a view of Echo Lake from his seat.
But, I had a view of the humming bird feeder, just outside our window. I saw 8 at once.
On our way out, I looked up one more time.If only someday, I could stay upstairs in one of those rooms. Our very sweet Czech server said she and the rest of the international staff, were all housed at the lodge. So at least the lodge isn't lonely at night.
All I have to do is get a summer job next year! We said good-by to Denise at the counter. She had some good advice for us.
Take a Hike
Denise told us to walk up the road. "Why? Is the view good?" She laughed and said we should go to just enjoy the quiet, free of cars.
The road to Mount Evans was still closed, after their long winter. So we walked around the barricades and walked a quarter mile. Just enough to burn off a quarter piece of my French toast. Maybe when I get a job at the lodge, I'll hike up, the full 14 miles!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.