Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mount Evans, CO - 7th August

After a buffalo-burger and Rail-Yard induced lie-in Peter and I made our way out to a favourite taco bar of his for some lunch. Along the way he pointed out some local points of interest that I might want to explore over the next few days. Today, however, we had other things planned: namely, scaling Denver's local Mount Evans - a 14,000ft. mountain in the front range of the Rockies. However, crampons and carabiners wouldn't be necessary, as Mount Evans' most famous boast is its highest road in North America, meaning that all but the last few hundred feet can be ascended in the comfort of a car.

After luncheon we set off towards and up the Mountain which is one of the 54 mountains over 14,000ft in Colorado, and one of only two of such 'Fourteeners' which has a road to the top.

Along the way we stopped at Summit Lake to give Peter's eco-friendly, hybrid, bamboo-eating Prius a rest and to exercise our hitherto unexercised legs.

 Summit Lake

Mount Evans

As we ascended up the mountain road some of Mount Evans' famous wildlife showed itself.

Goats! 

Mountain Sheep!

Soon after we reached the point where the Prius could go no further. At the parking site we were also confronted with an abandoned building. The ruins of Crest House, which once contained a restaurant, shop and visitor centre, sit at the top of the road up the Mountain. After a fire in the 1980s the structure was never rebuilt, and abandoned leaving a middle-eastern-looking ruin at the top of Mountain.

Crest House, Mount Evans 

The trek to the summit was completed by a treacherous ascent along a conveniently made path which took us to the vera tapmost tow'ring height O' the mountain's bonnet.

Peter and I post at the summit of Mount Evans

Chillin' at 14,000ft

On the way back to Denver we stopped off at the famous Beau Jo's pizza parlour in Idaho Springs, where they serve traditional 'Colorado style' pizza. Characterised by their exotic toppings and thick bread crusts, the traditional way of devouring the outer-edges is by drizzling honey of the gnawed remains for a sweet end to the slice.

On return to Denver we ended the night with some beer and whiskey on Peter and Paula's private roof-terrace overlooking the night-lit mile-high city.

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