Few weeks back I took the lazy girl’s way up a CO fourteener via the highest paved road in North America. Mt Evans scrapes the sky at 14,000+ feet.
There’s 20% less O’s at this altitude. I felt it. How do people do it on the big peaks, the ones twice as high? I walked around, took in the views and investigated the structures up top. I also got slightly dizzy, felt like a space cadet, and my legs were very heavy. No adjusting to altitude when you drive up.
Fun to be above the clouds:
Once upon a time there was a gift house/restauraunt called the CREST HOUSE up top. Built in 1941, a propane explosion in 1979 burned it up. Now stabilized it provides a hell of a view. Bits of pipes and beams remain giving clues to it’s structure (built to look like a star).
Remains of the Crest House with the U of Denver’s Meyer-Womble Observatory in the background:
The original Crest House, lifted from wikipedia:
Innerds, now revealed:
Amazes me a building could withstand life that high up. It was 42 degrees and windy that day (and that’s a typical SUMMER day.)
Looking down at Echo Lake:
More splendid views:
Mr. Marmot taking in the views like me:
Mtn Goats like to hang up there. Saw some a handful of years back when there. None this time but look, goat fuzz!
Flowers grow at 14,000+ feet:
Down the hill from the top is a visitors center which focuses on a) Native flowers and b) bristlecone pine. The flowers have been lovingly planted from hand harvested seeds and are displayed in a realistic series of gardens. The bristlecone are ancient trees. Some in CA exceed 4,000 years of age! These are less than half a century old…only…
I think the bristlecones look quite Dr Suess’ish.
Close up froma split trunk:
White Indian Paintbrush! Really! I didn’t know it came in white:
Elephant head? Trunk?:
“DYC” or “Damn Yellow Composite” The volunteer didn’t know which this is from that VAST (sarcastic) category. I say they’re pretty:
Helluva year for wildflowers.