Day 3 of the Women and Motorcycling Conference
Aug 21, 2009
|Friday August 21, 2009
This morning was a relaxing one for me. Kim went out to demo a few bikes, and I walked around and did some shopping.
I also decided to go to the nearby forest, and take some pics of the dead trees that were being cut down due to the Pine Beetles. This whole side of the hill was cleared out because of this epidemic. Soon the whole side of the mountain facing Dillon will look the same. It is a shame.
When Kim was finished, we went to lunch at a nearby Bar and Grill, where they had chairs in the waiting area that were made from skis.
Today we decided to head to Mount Evans, which boasts the highest paved road in North America at 14,103 feet. The summit of Mount Evans is at 14,264 feet. On the way to the mountain, we stopped at a scenic viewpoint on I-70 East, and found some hungry chipmunks that scurried up to us on a rock. Kim fed them some of her peanut butter granola bar.
We took the exit at Idaho Springs and paid $3 each to climb Mount Evans. The tree lined road was not too steep, though it boasted some nice 25-30 mph turns. Once we started to get into the alpine tundra region, which is above 11,500 feet, we encountered a much more narrow road complete with 10 mph switchbacks. We stopped at Summit Lake, which is at an elevation of 12,830 feet. It was starting to get chilly, in the mid fifties at least here. I was using my heated grips at this point to keep my fingers toasty.
After leaving Summit Lake, we made the final descent to the top of Mount Evans where the parking lot sits at 14,103 feet and after the climb to the summit, you end up at 14,264 feet in altitude. We were fortunate to have a nice sunny day with little wind. The summit was bearable and we were able to take plenty of pictures without retreating to the parking lot so soon. Up here I ran into Mary and her father Donny from Texas for the second time. I first met them yesterday at Independence Pass. They rode up here on two Goldwings, and I had thought I spotted them in the parking lot during our climb to the top. Mary’s mother was waiting in the parking lot. Guess she doesn’t do hikes, because these two have also hiked up Long’s Peak, which is actually visible from the summit of Mount Evans.
From up here, Denver can also be seen as well as the peaks of various mountains in all directions. I took a panoramic of the south view
, and then one of the north view
. When I have time, I’ll put them together and post them up.
On the way back to Keystone, we were heading west on I-70 and saw some interesting rush hours commuters. I wasn’t able to take a picture, because we were going at highway speeds, but there was a small group of male bighorn sheep congregating on the shoulder of the highway. I don’t think they were trying to cross, but they were right there. Our highlight of the day.
Once back in Keystone, we went to the International Street Party that was put on as part of the conference. They had a live band, and a bike show. Kim entered her bike, but didn’t win anything. While wandering around, Kim ran into Ashley Fiolek and had her picture taken with her. What an inspirational and mature young woman.
Once again the weather was great during the evening. Dry out and dropping into the upper 50’s. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for this part of the trip.