SmugMug Appreciation Sunday — No. 039

In brief, these posts serve to introduce new readers — and reintroduce regular readers — to photos from the early days of this blog and, occasionally, to photos from days before this blog came into existence.

As a superfluous reminder, we — Melisa and me — used to live in Colorado, and I took a few photos while we lived there.

Today, I offer photos from June of 2012. Depending on how you count them, Colorado has a few mountains (53 or 58) topping 14,000 feet in elevation (4,270 meters), and a few of them (two) have roads allowing people — people like me — to drive to their summits. Pikes Peak is one of them Fourteeners, and Mount Evans is the other and the subject of this post.

The original post for these photos is HERE. Notice the post has the coda “The Scenery“. That’s because there are other posts covering other aspects of our visit. For now, I’m sharing the 108 photos from THIS Gallery.

Note: some are shared as large files so that interested readers can click and zoom in. Be patient as I don’t know how fast theyll load.

Until you get above the tree line (approximately 12,000 feet), there are few places where one can see scenery through the trees, but mostly you see trees.

Lots of aspens, so it would make for a nice fall color tour . . . but we never returned to it, so that’s an opportunity lost. But, on with the post . . .

Here we are at Echo Lake, just about a half mile from the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, which would lead us to the summit.

As far as I could tell, there was no echo to be had, but you could see Mount Evans’ summit . . .

I believe, but I can’t be sure, the following is a panorama from the Mount Evans Byway looking back at Echo Lake (but I could be wrong since I didn’t specifically mention that in the post or gallery). No, wait . . . I checked using Google Earth, and that’s Echo Lake.

Once above the tree line, expansive views are what you got.

And Lincon Lake . . . which looked more like a small pond than a lake.

The road is paved all the way to the top (unlike Pikes Peak’s Highways which, at the time we lived there, was only partially paved). Unfortunately, that meant sharing the road with bicyclists.

Now, I know a few bicyclists, and they are responsible and mindful of the rules of the road and common courtesy . . . unfortunately, many of these weren’t, riding side-by-side and forcing cars to wait until it was safe to pass. And because going uphill, these guys weren’t going especially fast.

Mind you, I know many drivers are assholes when it comes to respecting bicyclists’ right to be on the road, but that’s no excuse to be assholes in return.

But these days, that’s the American Way.

There’s a part of the road that goes back downhill, taking you to Summit Lake.

The lake isn’t at the summit, but it sits directly below the summit and has a path that leads to an opening in the near-vertical face and a place called the Chicago Lake Overlook.

You can see the path on the right . . . and here’s Chicago Lake . . .

You can hike here from Echo Lake. It’s 6 miles or so as the crow flies, but a tad more like 7.5 to follow the trail.

To give a sense of scale, this next photo has people walking along the trail . . .

Click for larger version.

This is where we’re heading . . . and for them who click on the photo and then zoom in, you can see people looking down from the summit.

4K Photo . . . click and then click again to zoom in.

I must have been in my panoramic mode because this gallery has a number of them . . .

Another big photo.

Here’s me acting like I know the making of a good composition . . .

. . . a bit more about the area . . .

Oh, look! . . . another panorama . . .

And that’s the road to the summit . . .

Along that road, I stopped a few times to — you guessed it — snap some photos . . .

. . . sometimes I didn’t stop . . .

Here’s the caption for the above photo . . .

And yes . . . Melisa does not appreciate my propensity to drive with one hand, holding 2-3 pounds of camera and lens at shoulder height, and trying to both navigate the car and take decent pictures.

Ah, I forgot to mention . . . this gallery was from a time when I captioned most or all the photos. Those were the days when I foolishly believed more people would head over to SmugMug than read the blog where WordPress deprecates the quality of the photos. Oh, well . . . live and learn.

Anyway, this is us at the summit . . . can you spot our Tahoe?

Here’s the caption for this next photo:

That is Summit Lake in the distance. In front of me, just past the edge of the rock visible near the bottom of the frame, there’s a big drop.
I have a wide stance and am angled a bit to resist the big gusts of wind that want to push me over.

And here’s the caption for the next photo:

One of the problems with being near a cliff is that photos don’t give you the proper perspective. You know, the “Holy FSM! That’s one big drop-off!” reaction.

Step forward, and you take about a 1,000-foot step.

The problem with shooting downward is that it doesn’t look anything like it appears in person . . . this shot is looking almost straight down with a wide-angle lens . . .

Here’s another panorama . . .

And here’s the caption for the above shot:

A small panorama shot in portrait orientation. The drop-off visible on the left and right is the same as where I was — and am — standing.
Melisa does not like me getting this close to the edge, but I ensure no one nearby knows me. I figure strangers are less likely to want to shove me past the edge.

I sense another panorama about to show up . . .

A number of people like climbing up to the top . . . and then sitting and surveying the surrounding area.

. . . I thought I was the only one . . . But, no, these people also celebrated getting up here (there’s a big drop-off right behind them).

Here’s one of the signs at the summit . . .

Yes . . . the Mount Evans Scenic Byway is America’s highest paved road . . . at least as far as I know. I don’t think anyone is rushing to grab that title.

There are a number of photos from the summit and a narrative to go with them for them interested in them. For now, a few more of our way back down . . .

This guy made no effort to move over, and since there are a lot of blind corners preventing me from safely passing him, many maledictions were sent his way . . . if any of them took, his hemorrhoids have by now exploded, and he no longer rides bicycles.

Sometimes you just have to trust the road continues . . .

Trust me on this . . . all of the photos at the end of the Gallery are of us going downhill. It’s just more evident in the next shot.

Some drivers shouldn’t be on these roads for three reasons: 1) they don’t have the confidence to stay in their lane. 2) they ride their brakes which is a good way to hasten their failure since they get too hot. 3) they drive way too slow and don’t let others pass, even when there are pullouts specifically made for slow drivers to let other drivers pass.

. . . their hemorrhoids were also targeted with maledictions. Alas, to my knowledge, my maledictions have no effect on the real world. Then again, if they did, the world would be a much, much better place. I don’t mind, really, because I’m sure that, over the years, many maledictions have been directed my way, so I guess I’m glad they’re not effective.

This is the last photo of this gallery . . .

That’s the beginning of the Waldo Canyon Fire . . . we saw the plume from a long way away and watched it grow during our hour-plus drive home.

That will probably be a gallery for another Sunday.

But, for now, here’s the slideshow for the gallery. If you prefer, you can just visit the gallery via clicking on the link I provided above.

Note: the transition is set to 2sec, but — if you move the cursor anywhere within the photo — you’ll see a pause button on the lower left, and, once paused, you can use the left and right arrows on both sides of the photo to navigate the slideshow. This is especially useful because I included the captions.

If you click anywhere in the photo instead of the pause button, you’ll exit the slideshow and find yourself in SmugMug. You can then scroll through the photos or interact in other ways.

Slideshow of Mount Evans — The Scenery Gallery — (108 photos)

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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