Sunday, August 06, 2006
Day 3 - Mt. Evans Highway
Off we went up 103 to Mt. Evans. We were told it was a 14 mile ride up the mountain and when we got to the top, it may only be 38 degrees! The ride started out pretty, with trees and a babbling trout brook. A little curvy, but nothing too adventurous. Didn't seem to be getting much colder. Stopped at Echo Lake at about mile 14, and then saw the Mt. Evans tourist center and realized that this was the road that lead to the park to head up Mt. Evans, with an elevation of 14,260 ft, it's the highest automobile road in the world (source: postcard).
At the toll booth, we paid our $6 and headed up, quickly figuring out that it would be quite an adventure. Curvy roads, hairpin turns and NO GUARD RAILS. 14 miles of curvy roads, hairpin turns and NO GUARD RAILS. Being a bit afraid of heights, I kept my eyes out on the road ahead, telling Tony when I saw cars coming towards us so that we could keep to the inside (because there are no guard rails). Mile 9 was Summit Lake and the yellow painted divider lane disappeared and the road narrowed. Kept getting colder and colder. Mile 15, and we reached the top of Mt. Evans. Well worth the ride, but only 40 degrees. Tony's fingers were numb, my nose was cold.
And then we headed down the mountain. 14 miles of curvy roads with hairpin turns and NO GUARD RAILS. It wasn't as bad as we thought it would be when we were going up the mountain. Took it slowly, stopping at Summit Lake for a breather. We now knew why they sold tshirts in the tourist shop that said "I survived Mt. Evans." Well worth the trip and then we were off for lunch and a cold beverage.
Next stop: more riding