North of Salida

Wednesday I started the day with the intention of driving a scenic loop north of Salida, up towards Buena Vista, Leadville, Vail and Frisco before returning to Salida.  The theme for the day quickly became apparent.  Mountains.  Big ones.

There are 58 mountains taller than 14,000 feet in Colorado, more than in any other state.  The locals call them “14ers”.  Today I saw at least 8 of them (I think I saw lots more than that but there just wasn’t enough room on my map to print all their names!).

From south to north (the order in which I saw them) Shavano 14,229, Antero 14,269, Princeton 14,197, Yale 14,196, Harvard 14,420 (they call this road the Collegiate Byway), LaPlata 14,361, Elbert 14,433 (the highest point in Colorado) and Massive 14,421.

Here are some of them, taken with my smartphone camera (you’ll see some better detail shots when I post close-ups, taken with the digital camera):

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These next two were taken looking down, showing the road as I approached, and started to climb, Independence Pass.

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It turns out I never made it any further north than Independence Pass today.  Thursday I hope to pick up where I left off and finish the loop before heading over to Colorado Springs for 4 more nights there.