558. Georgetown, Clear Creek County (CO26)

No. Just NO. This is another one of those courthouses that looks like it was erected by a homebuilder or possibly a firm specializing in medical office complexes. Nothing about the building has anything inspiring about it to the point that I couldn’t even see a point in getting a good photograph of it. Even if it was not surrounded by trees, preventing a good shot, there was no way to know that it wasn’t a generic office building other than my personal assurance. I opted to get a photo of the courthouse sign with something of the building in the background because this was a better option than trying to get the building itself. This was not good. Very not good. It may be functional for the community, but it didn’t feel worth the drive to get here. Knowing I would be here, however, there was only one place truly worth getting a cache from, and that, on the other hand…

…was totally worth it. Welcome to Mount Evans. I drove up to the top of the mountain, navigating crazy switchbacks and bighorn sheep. I inched my way up, passing by idiots who stopped in the middle of two lane roads to take photographs until I made it to the summit. There are some of you who might be wondering why I didn’t climb to the top as some might have done. Understand something: if I’m at 14,130 feet above sea level, you can pretty reliably bet that I drove up at least 14,000 feet of that (I didn’t start this trip at sea level, but that’s not important right now). In this case, I drove up 14,130 because this is just up to the parking lot, bathrooms, and other things of interest.

From there, I donned my winter coat that I didn’t expect to wear again until at least November, and climbed the last 150 feet to reach the actual top.

What a view… This is 14,265 feet above sea level. And this is where my Greek tragedy began to unfold. Whenever I plan to visit a county, I have a list of caches downloaded for that county in case I have no phone reception, a lesson forced into me by places like Menard and Paint Rock (haven’t heard that name in a while, huh?). Well, the night before I forgot to download lists so here I was, unable to pull up any cache locations because service was lacking at the top of the mountain. I tried over and over and eventually decided to walk around and hope that my geosenses would lead me to the regular sized cache that I knew was up here. I looked in so many nooks and crannies to no avail. I decided to send some messages to a few people from up here because, well, I was up here and one of them responded! That meant I was getting signal! It wasn’t much, but it was just enough to finally get caches on the map! Deus vult! It turned out that there was a virtual on the top here and the regular I had been looking for was back down the mountain near the parking lot. I logged the virtual at the Top of the World, and then went back down for the regular traditional.

As you can see, it turned out not to be regular sized. I expected more… But sometimes you have to take what you can get. As I so often said, a cache is a cache is a cache. But all good things come to an end. I still had more things to do do that day and time was beginning to catch up with me. I hadn’t planned to be up there for quite so long, and I would eventually pay for that. But before I was done on the mountain, I had one more trial to endure. I started driving down the mountain…

…and got waylaid by a hailstorm! Luckily, there was a lake that a lot of people liked to fish at pretty far up the mountain (seriously, at about 10,000 feet, it looked like the Scottish Highlands. I’m not even kidding), so there was a parking area to pull off and wait the hail out. This was most certainly not on my bingo card for Independence Day! Given time, the hail ceased, and I was able to finally get back down to the mountain. I had survived my first ascent of a fourteener! After that, even the disappointing courthouse wasn’t able to bring me down (much). But, as noted before, sand was pouring through the hourglass. I drove as fast as I was (reasonably) able, but I was forced to stop to tend to the physical needs of hunger and, well, you know. I took the opportunity to download lists so that I wouldn’t have a replay of what had just occurred once I finally reached…

3 thoughts on “558. Georgetown, Clear Creek County (CO26)

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