Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Denver: Day 5

(apologies for my tardiness in entering this blog... )

Day 5 dawned bright and early.  Plans for the day were a hike to St. Mary's Glacier and a drive up Mt. Evans.  Since Evans is my maiden name, I was especially excited to see the top of it.  The road up to Mt. Evans is the highest paved road in the United States.  Pretty sweet deal.

The hike to the glacier was taken by the entire clan of family - Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Doug, Aunt Lyndsey, Michael, Jonah, Jeremiah, Maeryn, and me.  We were outfitted with backpacks and camera bags and toddler carriers and the works.  Since Jeremiah had dropped a weight on his foot the previous day at the climbing gym (which warranted a trip to the ER and a diagnosis of severe bruising), he had the privilege (though I'm not sure he would have called it that...) of riding in the toddler carrier on Doug's back.  We hauled in lunches to eat at the glacier after our hike pretty much straight up to it.  It was only 3/4 of a mile, but I was definitely winded by the time we got to the top.  The altitude finally had it's way with to speak.

The view was honestly magnificent.  We came over a little knoll and, as if by magic, a pristine lake appeared in front of us.  Clear waters perfectly reflecting the sky's deep blue.  The kids played near the freezing water, we took pictures, and we scarfed lunch.

Michael took a little detour trip across the ridge to the frozen waterfall that fed the lake.  It was fun to watch him as he clambered over the rocky mountain face to see the waterfall.  (He's in the picture below, can you find him?)

After lunch we visited the snow pile on the other side of the lake.  Good times were had by all.  (Below = Lyndsey with Maeryn, Michael with Jonah, and Michael - jovial  :-))

A thunderstorm sent us hiking back down before we necessarily wished to leave, but it was all for the best.  Grandma and Grandpa were tired and decided to head back home and skip out on the Mt. Evans tour.  (Pictures later - I PROMISE.)

We "kids" piled into the van together with our kids and made the trek ourselves.

The drive up was beautiful and scary at once - no guardrails and QUITE the drop to be had over the side of the road.  Ears popping, we witness mountain goats, natural lakes, and all sorts of interesting high altitude creatures.

At the top of the mountain, we parked and hiked to the actual peak.  At the top, there is a gold plate saying how high you made it.

I got a little dizzy due to the altitude, but was glad I made the hike.

The trip down in the car was tough - I have issues with my body re-pressurizing during descents.  It's that way in airplanes as well - quite painful - and I usually get relatively ill afterward.  Since this descent was slower, I recovered by the next morning.

When we returned from Mt. Evans, Doug and Lyndsey had some friends over for BBQ - also Messiah College students - where Michael and I met and attended and graduated and all that jazz.  We ate, played games, and eventually turned in for the night.

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