My First 14er!

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Hi everyone!

Wow! I haven’t posted in awhile! It has been a busy month. I’ve had several tests and I hosted my first student event for the American Meteorological Society. It was awesome! So great to tell my fellow classmates about all the great things available to them through the AMS Broadcast Board!

So, I have to tell you about a big first for me! I go to do my first 14er a few weeks ago! What is a 14er you ask? Well, it is quite the big deal in Colorado. 14ers are the tallest mountains in Colorado. They are 14,000 feet above sea level and it is so cool to say you went that high. For me I am a big outdoors enthusiast so this was huge! The only thing is I am not quite in shape (It will happen by next year!!! Woo!) to hike up one so we did one of the only two peaks you can drive up. We went to Mt. Evans which is near Idaho Springs (but also is part of the city of Denver even though it is far away from the city, so odd).

I have never been to a mountain where the tree line ends and you actually see tundra. In the picture above, that is tundra during the fall season. It makes me so excited to see tundra for once because a) I’ve studied the difference climates and vegetation and b) I’ve only lived in the desert and now Colorado for a little while so tundra is a brand new thing for me. The only thing that is higher than tundra is permafrost (ground that is permanently frozen) which I have yet to see.

Another awesome thing was the mountain goats! They were so cool. I’m a big animal lover so I am a huge fan of anything that crawls around. It was amazing because they weren’t shy at all and it was even more fascinating that any time they wanted to cross the street, one would jump in front of the car and act like a crossing guard. The goat that just walked in front of our car didn’t budge until the whole herd crossed.  And I got to see little baby goats! So adorable!

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One thing I will say about traveling to Mt. Evans or any 14er is be aware that there will be a lot of traffic. The Denver-Metro area is home to a lot of outdoorsy people and they all like to head up to the mountains on weekends. It got so crowded at one point with people parked on the sides of the roads to see the goats that the road actually was blocked by people. We tried to get through but thankfully a ranger came out and told everyone that it is indeed illegal to park on the side of the road on the mountain in non-parking areas. Also, there is a $10 fee for a car full of people. But it was definitely worth it!

I hope you all get outdoors this season. Fall is an amazing time!

Until then,

-M

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