Friday, August 5, 2016

Colorado: Mt. Evans, Top of the World - August 1



Monday, we drove to Mt. Evans which is touted as America's highest paved automobile road. We began our drive from Dillon which is at 9000 ft. and ended at the parking lot at Mt. Evans, elevation 14,130 ft. We parked the car and hiked the remaining 134 feet to the summit, elevation....14, 264 ft.

It was really cold and windy, when we first got there. We bundled up with every piece of clothes that we had in the car. I had on a tank top, a thin jacket and a sweat shirt. I wore a pair of shorts up there, but thank goodness I brought a pair of exercise leggings along. By the time we got to the top, it had warmed up a lot.

We started the 134 ft. climb. It was slow going because of the thin air and rise in elevation. Sawyer got really tired, about half way up. Cliff gave him and Lidia half a gel each and that gave them enough energy to finish the climb. I had a little trouble breathing and got dizzy at the top. But as I rested, both of these issues disappeared. Or maybe I wasn't aware of them because I was in awe of my surroundings. The views were unreal!

The summit was very rocky, which pleased Sawyer to no end. He and Lidia were climbing all over the rocks. We borrowed someone's Mt. Evans 14'er sign to have our picture made. I had packed a picnic lunch for us and we found a good spot to sit and enjoy lunch on top of the world.

We spotted several animals at Mt. Evans, including Marmots, Pika and Mountain Goats. Again, we saw so many wildflowers. One in particular that was most interesting was the Alpine Sunflower. I heard that this flower could take 30-50 years to grow and once they bloom, that was it. And, the sunflower almost always faces the rising sun. I loved that!

We hung around the summit for a good half hour and then headed back home. On the way back down Mt. Evans, we stopped at Summit Lake - elevation 12,830 ft. Just east of the lake is Summit Lake Flats, which I'm told is the site of a glacier. Of course, being summer, there wasn't much of a glacier there. There was a little ice in patches, though.

Total Miles Hiked: 0.74  Elevation gain: 134 feet
Amount of oxygen at 14,264 ft.: Not nearly enough, haha!
Later, Lidia's swim: 30 laps
 
 The following pictures shows you what it looks like on top of the world.





 Mt. Evans - Elevation of 14,264 feet
 This was Lidia, Sawyer's and my first 14'er. Cliff has been before.


 

 Marmot and Mountain Goat
 Mountain Goats
Alpine Sunflower
 
These pretty flowers were on the hike to the summit of Mt. Evans.
 
Summit Lake - Elevation 12,830 feet
 Wildflowers at Summit Lake
American Bistort and Parry's Clover
 
As you can see, there were so many different views to behold. I tried to capture a little of everything without becoming redundant. But everywhere you turned, the amazing scenery was begging to have it's picture taken.
 
There will be many more hikes to come,
Laurie

19 comments:

  1. Wow you were on top of the world! Amazing views from up there. Such wonderful memories for your grandchildren...and you!

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    1. It was amazing. Sawyer was in rock climbing heaven. I know he'll go back on his own, when he grows up!

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  2. How gorgeous - good for you, what an amazing adventure to share with your family!

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    1. Thank you, MM! We are having a ball.

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  3. That is quite a hike! You got gorgeous pictures. I really like the mountain goat.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! It amazes me how unafraid those goats were.

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  4. Laurie, How wonderful. You should be extremely proud of yourself and your family. I love it. The pictures are great. Life time memories for all of you. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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  5. Thank you so much! Your photos are amazing. The animals, the flowers and the family. Super!

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    1. Thank you, Jedidja! There is so much beauty here to photograph. I'm having as much fun taking pictures as hiking, etc.

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  6. Wow! It really does look like you're on top of the world! Incredible views and thank you so much for sharing details about the flowers and creatures found there.
    I enjoyed it all so much!

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    1. Thank you, Christine! I hope to find the names of all the flowers. I love how they are growing profusely in the open areas. Around every bend, there are such wonderful surprises.

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  7. We are so lucky to live in a country with such amazing scenery! I'm not fond of high places and climbing and watching the kids on the rocks reminded me when we took our kids when they were little. It's so hard not to overdue the pics but when you have all of those fabulous things to shoot it's OK to do so! Looks like the kids are having a great time!

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    1. We are lucky, YaYa! A friend and I were talking about this the other day. We were wondering why more people didn't explore this great country of ours instead of traveling abroad. There is so much beauty here!

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  8. Laurie, you have a real talent for photography, and I think we (all of your readers) benefit from it!

    I couldn't help but think how very different it must look in winter time!

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    1. Oh, thank you so much Judy! You are so sweet! I've always loved taking pictures and got my first 35 mm camera when I was 18. Been taking pics, since.

      I've been here (in the area) in winter. It's a different kind of beauty. Everything is white! You know I loved that!

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  9. Laurie....I have missed so many posts!
    You guys are having a wonderful time...
    I have been to the Grand Canyon, so I can appreciate the thin air, and the incredible views.
    I thought you went to visit your daughter? Are you staying with her, or seeing her later on?
    Keep on enjoying....weather here is still stinkin' hot!
    Hi to everyone!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  10. So so gorgeous!! The views, the flowers, the animals... breathtaking!

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