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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mount Evans, Colorado

On the day Sam graduated from High School (May 22, 2009) the road to Mt. Evans opened in Colorado. On Saturday, the 23rd we headed toward the summit, hoping to go all the way to the top. The weather (and an accident further up the road) didn't allow us to go beyond Summit Lake but we completely enjoyed the drive - Mount Evans Scenic Byway is America's highest paved road. It was completed in 1927 with state funds and is a favorite destination for Coloradans and tourists alike.

We started at Idaho Springs, 8,700 feet, a well-preserved mining town and the birthplace of the Rocky Mountain Gold Rush and drove along some of Colorado's most dramatic scenery to 14,240 feet at the summit - passing through 3 life zones, passing ancient trees, lakes and forest above treeline. It can be 90 degrees in Denver and 40 degrees at the top of Mount Evans (it was colder than that on this day). We saw mountain goats and bighorn sheep as we drove to the glacial lake. It is nothing short of spectacular!! We could see the storm coming as we clamored around, taking photos and trying not to freeze and indeed by the time we exited the park, they were closing the road due to bad weather conditions.

Clouds over Mt. Evans

Top of the World, Ma!

Idaho Springs Firehouse

Summit Lake, formed by glaciers - it's a good example of an alpine lake

Here's a link to an earlier blog post about Mt. Evans - when I went up there with Madddie two years ago in July - just so you can see the difference in weather!

Gnarled cypress trees, just below Summit Lake