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Photo Friday: The Overlook

I first visited the Stanley Hotel back in 2003. As a horror writer, it’s almost mandatory to drop by and check out the influence for one of the horror genre’s most famous landmarks, Stephen King’s Overlook from The Shining.

The Overlook

The Stanley Hotel: inspiration for terror

It’s a cool place. One of these trips I think I’d actually like to stay there.

The Stanley embraces its reputation, of course. While only the ABC miniseries was shot at the Stanley, there are memorabilia and movie posters from the original film version all over the place, and of course the coffee shop also sells “redrum” chocolates andĀ The Shining t-shirts and accessories. We took a few minutes to eyeball the movie posters for the Kubrick flick posted in the lower level mens room.

There was a wedding reception at the hotel while we were there, so the bride and groom and their guests were having pictures taken in the lobby and out front. That didn’t stop tour groups from going through, but we still took advantage of a quiet moment to take a handful of photos ourselves.

Wrecking Crew

If there are ghosts in the place, they were scared of us

TheĀ tours also include night tours and a ghost hunt, as well as a visit to Room 217, where King stayed. I wondered if it made sense to keep a room vacant like that, but I bet they make a lot more money in tours than they’d make on the room. I still have an old-style key to room 217 from my first trip, complete with an Overlook Hotel tag, but I didn’t see any reason to pay for the tour when Michelle Scalise used to work there and took us on a brief tour herself.

In any case, we enjoyed even our brief visit to the place, and it was good to be behind the camera again. I have a couple more sets of photos to upload from the last few months, and then I’ll need to decide if I can salvage the rest of Photo Friday 2012. Things blew up at work, got busy at the dojo, and got a little insane at home. When available time comes down to either working on photography or working on the writing, the writing has to win out every time.

But like the writing, it’s just a matter of developing habit and discipline.

More soon.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

A Visit to the Overlook Hotel

Way back in 2003, the Wife and I were in Denver and we took a side trip to visit Tom Piccirilli and Michelle Scalise. We got together in Estes Park, where Michelle took us on a brief tour of the Stanley Hotel, made infamous for its role in the creation of Stephen King’s The Shining. King named his version of the hotel The Overlook, and it later appeared in the TV miniseries version of The Shining.

It’s a cool place, and while it’s not near as remote as it appears in The Shining, once you get up to the hotel itself you can’t shake the creepy vibe the fictional history lends it. As we were walking out, I ran out onto the edge of a walkway out front and snapped a couple pictures of the front of the place, including Tom, Michelle, the Wife, and the Midget (barely a toddler at the time) coming toward me. I caught a few that I thought looked great, including one I thought would make a nice picture for the office. The sun wasn’t quite in the right place and the focus on the family & friends could have been better (it was just a simple point-and-shoot camera), but it was mine and I was happy with it.

Then I promptly lost the picture. I was juggling systems and hard drives at the same time, I procrastinated making prints, and before long the pictures disappeared. I was fairly certain I screwed up and deleted one of my backups that may have included those pics, and I figured that was that.

Flash forward five years. I’m digging through a box of junk and I find a CD labeled “laptop backup” and dated back to ’04. It had pictures on it, so I imported them to iPhoto. Over time I’ve been going through and sorting them out, tagging them, and so on, when I stumbled across a picture of the elk from Colorado.

Dare I hope?

I scrolled through the pics and boom! Found her:

Guests check in... but they dont check out!

Guests check in... but they don't check out!

It made my day. I hate losing pictures, but I missed this one and I have no idea when I’ll be able to get out to visit Colorado again. Even if I did go out there and reproduce it with better light and my new camera, it wouldn’t have the same magic attached to it. I still procrastinated on buying a print, but believe me, I’ve got backups!

Now that I’m getting ready to send Tom a copy of my book, I thought he and Michelle would like a copy of the picture. This morning I uploaded it to Flickr, ordered a copy, and the Wife picked it up while she was out grocery shopping. I finally have a hardcopy in my hot little hands.

Of course I forgot to tell her to pick up a picture frame, so now it’ll probably get buried on my desk and collect dust for another year or two.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.