The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

Mt Evans – Hanging at 14,000+ feet

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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:

 

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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:

 

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The original Crest House, lifted from wikipedia:

 

 

Innerds, now revealed:

 

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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.)

 

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Looking down at Echo Lake:

 

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More splendid views:

 

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Mr. Marmot taking in the views like me:

 

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Mtn Goats like to hang up there.  Saw some a handful of years back when there.  None this time but look, goat fuzz!

 

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Flowers grow at 14,000+ feet:

 

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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.

 

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Close up froma  split trunk:

 

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The flowers:

 

White Indian Paintbrush! Really!  I didn’t know it came in white:

 

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Elephant head?  Trunk?:

 

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“DYC”  or “Damn Yellow Composite”  The volunteer didn’t know which this is from  that VAST (sarcastic) category. I say they’re pretty:

 

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Helluva year for wildflowers.

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