Tuesday, August 9, 2016
A Visit with Uncle Bob - Day 16
Today we left our soggy campsite and moved on to Evergreen, Colorado. Later we will end the day in Goodland, Kansas. Our big event for the day was to be a long visit with Uncle Bob in Evergreen. But, after speaking with Bob a bit, we decided to take a short side trip to Mount Evans, Colorado which is near Evergreen. We would still meet for lunch with Bob later in the day. The road at the top of Mount Evans, is the highest paved road in the Continental United States. Of course, we had to take the Tesla up mount just to say we did it. We hoped the weather would cooperate as it has been very overcast and wet in Colorado for this portion of the trip. Our travels to Evergreen took us through some very nice mountain ranges and interesting roadways. There’s definitely more to take in than our short stay would allow.
At the entry to Mount Evans, we were greeted by another friendly National Park employee and another park fee, we really should have purchased that annual pass. The drive up the mountain was spectacular. The further up we got, the road became less wide and Oliver became more nervous. Our travels were complicated by the fact that there was an annual bicycling event happening where bikers pedal to the 14,000 foot peak. Not much room for an SUV, a Tesla, and a bike to pass on those thin winding roads that have no guardrails. At the 12,830 foot level, there was a glacier lake, reset area, and an information area. We stopped there to take a break and check out the sights. We met some park employees who were giving out information on the wildlife of the park. Oliver and I had a great conversation with them and learned much about the environment.
As we neared the summit, our 14,130 ft elevation destination, the road got really harrowing. A two lane road became a one and one half lane road. There were no guardrails and the road was in rough shape. Oliver go more nervous the further we travelled upwards. When we reached the top, it was 41 degrees out. We parked, put on our jackets, and proceed explore. Oliver was very nervous about the heights so he stayed far from the edges. We chatted with some of the bicyclists and bit, hiked where we could, and then got back in the car to begin our journey downward. After exiting the park, we stopped at what Bob told us was a “Cool Lodge”. He was right, we picked up a traditional postcard and moved on to visit Bob for a late lunch.
When we arrived in Evergreen, we discovered there was a big fundraiser for local charities going. It seems they like to race rubber ducks down the river like we do in Durham. Parking was hard to come by but we found a spot. Surprisingly, Bob had a spot nearby and we found him with no trouble. We had our lunch at Beau Jo’s - Evergreen. Lunch was great and we had a great time catching up with Bob. We gave him ride in the Tesla and showed him many of the features. He’s been asking lots of questions since.
From Evergreen, we had to move on to Goodland, Kansas. We needed to stop for dinner along the way as there weren’t many choices at our destination. By some happy accident we found the I-70 Diner, a really cool diner in Flagler, Colorado. They stayed past closing for us and made us a great dinner. Coincidentally, we ran in to a fellow from Charlotte, NC who rode his bike up Mt. Evans earlier in the day. Wonder if we passed him going up or down. Since we left after they closed, the Tesla was the only car in the parking lot. A good chance to get some pictures. They had signs our front with distances to many major destinations around the world. Because of this, we dubbed the place "The Middle of Everywhere".
It was pretty stormy throughout on the drive to Goodland, good thing we had cancelled our reservation for the campground. We got in early enough for Oliver to get a swim in the pool and to bed at a reasonable time.