Monday, August 14, 2006

We rolled in to Golden, Colorado late Saturday night and found the Wal-Mart to park for the night and to buy essentials. This store was a little harder to find because it looks different from the outside. There’s a lot more trees and the exterior matches the other buildings in the area. There must be some law that you have to have a certain architecture because even the McDonalds looked this way.
In the morning, I got on-line to try and find a Church to attend. We ended up at the new Mesa View Evangelical Free Church. It was very small, and very friendly. I think every person there greeted us at least once, and really engaged us in conversation. The worship was great, and the message was practical and challenging. One of the elders (in flip-flops and a bright Hawaiian shirt) gave us some advice for how to ascend Mount Evans, which came in handy the next day.
After Church, we dropped in on some family on short notice, and they were very gracious. They have a beautiful home in the mountains, and it was a blast to visit with them and catch up. She cooked up a phenomenal Italian dish for lunch that everyone enjoyed, then we took some pictures and continued on our way.

Mount Evans boasts the highest paved road in North America, though it’s not really accessible with a 29’ motorhome. We got there late in the afternoon, and thunderstorms prevented an immediate ascent, so we camped at the campground near Echo Lake, and made our attempt first thing Monday morning. We drove up to Summit Lake at 12,800 feet and parked the RV, setting out on foot by 8:00. Our oldest and I climbed the 1,400 feet up to the 14,288 foot peak.

It was a very difficult climb, and we almost gave up several times, taking frequent breaks and making modest goals to encourage each other to press on. Being accustomed to near sea-level, we were really struggling, and so when we got back to the bottom, we bought souvenir t-shirts that say “Got Oxygen?”
After conquering our fouteener, we headed in to Denver proper to get some coffee (I was out of my home-roast, and there’s a Peet’s store) and to eat out. I looked on wikitravel again, and found Tommy’s Thai in the budget listings (I even updated the listing because there was a typo in the address). We hadn’t had Thai yet, so this seemed like a good idea. Was it ever! The restaurant was the best. Very good food, very good service, very nice d├ęcor, and the prices were very reasonable. I would highly recommend this place to anyone. Even the kids liked it.

Finally, we stopped at Flying J on the way out of Denver to dump our tanks, and fill up on water and gas. Now we are on our way toward St. Louis.

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