After filling up with gas in Idaho Springs, we headed up CO103 towards the Echo Lake Lodge. Echo Lake really is a beautiful area, and I would love to come hike here sometime!
The road had a decent amount of traffic, and the lodge parking lot was absolutely full. The fee station entrance was backed up a little, but not terrible. Jeff was in front of me and learned that his National Parks Pass was good for free admission here – SCORE! And so we began our assent to the summit of Mt. Evans.
Now, I have ridden to the top of Pikes Peak and was absolutely impressed by that road. It is definitely a little nerve-wracking in parts, but nothing terrible as long as you pay attention and know what you’re doing on a bike. The road to Mt. Evans is a whole different story.
This road was absolutely HORRIBLE in many areas. There were large potholes that you couldn’t see until you were right on top of them, and some of them in narrow lane/drop off areas. The road itself was in disrepair in multiple locations…shockingly bad in some cases. I don’t know where the fee money goes, but it certainly isn’t to road maintenance.
With that said, the major redeeming factor is that I would say that the road to Mt. Evans is much prettier than the road to Pikes Peak! I would absolutely love to take an entire day and just hike around this one area…it was absolutely stunning!
Jeff and I took a few minutes to walk around and explore the summit area. Here you can see part of The Crest House – The Castle in the Sky
Notice the road winding in and out of the mountain side!? We spent about 20 minutes or so on the summit and noticed a few (snow) flakes starting to fly around. We decided to get off the summit, so I led us to the warmer temperatures below. And that is when trouble struck!
Jeff’s concerned voice came over the Sena….”Uh, don’t get too far ahead of me. I’ve got a problem here.”
“What’s wrong?”, I responded. It was quiet for only a few seconds, but it seemed longer.
Jeff came back on – “I’ve got a check engine light on. Actually, I have no throttle control. I have nothing here. I’m just coasting.”
We found a wide turn area to pull over in to the gravel. My mind started racing – it’s getting late, and cold, and how in the world are we going to get both of us off this mountain on one bike if that’s what it takes?
Jeff turned his BMW off and let it sit. A few minutes later, he turned the ignition and….it came alive with no issues! It was an uneventful ride back down the mountain, so the only thing we could think of is that his motorcycle doesn’t like the altitude and had a quirk.
From there we rode all the way down to the intersection of U.S. 85 and C-470 in SW Denver. The temperatures swung from cold on the mountain to pretty warm in the city, so we stopped at a gas station and shed several layers. I went down to riding with only my mesh jacket!
We ate a quick snack, hydrated more, and then began the final leg of our journey back to Colorado Springs. Jeff and I parted ways on the north side of town, and I headed out to the country, reflecting on what a great adventure it had been…
It was hard to believe that two days of riding had passed so quickly. It wasn’t a long trip, and not really an “EPIC” trip either; but it had all of the elements of a fantastic trip….a good friend, good motorcycles, good roads, (mainly) good weather, a good place to stay, and (mainly) good food!
As the sun set over the fields, I was truly happy to be home with my family, and blessed to have enjoyed another adventure with my friend, Stallion.
Thanks for riding along with me!