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Mount Evans was my training ground for the Pikes Peak Marathon this year. It’s the closest 14er to Denver. Most summers, it’s overrun with traffic. But, this summer the road was closed for repairs. It was quiet. I’d get up at 3:30 a.m., drive past Idaho Springs and park at the Echo Lake Lodge parking lot just as the sun started to fill the black night sky with blue.
I was always on a time crunch to get back to Denver, so I didn’t reach the top any of the five times I ran up the mountain. The furthest I got was about a half mile past Summit Lake. Getting that close to the top without actually reaching it was irksome. So, when I heard that the road up Mt Evans was opening up this weekend, I piled my family in the car and took the direct route to the top. I wasn’t messing around. And this was the view I was greeted with. A stately mountain goat standing in the arch of the Castle in the Sky. I’ll tell you, I’ve never been disappointed waking up early to go on an adventure. But, I have been disappointed sleeping in.