Saturday, July 25, 2009
Ride Mt Evans
The plan for the day was to take a two to three hour ride via a 'classic' loop dubbed the Echo Lake Loop. Up 70 to Idaho Springs, exit onto 103 and run by Echo Lake on the way back down to Evergreen, and then on through Kettridge and Morrison - with an optional diversion up to the summit of Mt Evans from Echo Lake. Darren, owner of a new BMW F 800 GS, was the only other member of the ride team.
Other than a bit more traffic on the way up 70 and then around 103 to Echo Lake, the day was looking good. Sunny and not too hot. After a short photo stop at the turn off to Mt Evans, we decided to stick crowbars in our wallets and pay the three dollar fee to drive to the top. (pic)
Half way up, just before summit lake, the road, as we were warned, turned into a roller coaster ride. Frost heaving caused the asphalt ribbon to undulate up and down with uncalled for zest. Me, on the FJ, was going just a bit too fast for the conditions. One bump (ramp) nearly launched me and FJ airborne. Darren, with his bike's massive suspension travel, just stood up on the pegs and let the bike soak up the lumps.
Summit Lake provided a nice place to pause and capture a few pics. And a last chance for some warmth and sun. At Echo Lake, the temp was 65 and mostly sunny; Summit Lake was 54 and mostly overcast.
After the quick photo shoot, we headed the rest of the way up. Almost immediately, we were enshrouded in clouds and pelted with rain. Should I take a moment at this time to mention that the road we were on was barely wide enough for two cars to pass, with 100+ foot nearly vertical drop offs with no guard rails? That plus dense fog/clouds and a rain spotted visor isn't what I'd call ideal riding conditions.
I'm sure the suspense is too much for you, so I'll let you in on some critical info. We made it to the top without falling off the mountain and dieing. Very cloudy/foggy/rainy, and 42 degrees. I took this shot while the clouds weren't *too* bad. No, I don't really think I can see for miles... A little while later I took a shot at the elevation sign. With a complete white out background of clouds.
The descent down the mountain wasn't any better. Even more rainy.
Continuing towards Evergreen, we managed to get ahead of the rain and took a pit stop at Juniper Picnic area, where we grabbed a few more pictures.
Arriving at Evergreen a little after 2:00 pm, we checked Darren's GPS for a place to eat. We selected a place called Tanglewood bar and grill, or something like that. The GPS lead us to a little strip mall, where there was a place that looked like a restaurant, but had no signage. Having no better plan, we stopped and had lunch there.
My lunch was a smoked salmon. Quite good smokey flavor. 4 stars (out of 5).
I checked the menu to see if the establishment's name was printed there. Nope. I checked the check to see if it was there. Nope. Not there either. So, without assuming that it was the Tanglewood something or other, I have no clue where I had lunch. But the service was good, and all the people were very friendly.
A little while after we finished, the rain subsided to a sprinkle, so we headed on back home. A 2 or 3 hour ride + rain == 4 plus hours out. Loop distance, 106 miles.
Not an ideal ride, but any ride/photo shoot is better than a day at work.
[edit- Awesome. The blogspot editor *refuses* to take/save my formatting changes. oh well.]