Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hello Autumn! Guanella Pass, Colorado, and Easy Canvas Winner!


Autumn color comes early to the high elevations of Colorado! By mid September the aspens along the lower Rocky Mountains are already beginning to turn their shades of golden yellow and oranges. My husband and I returned from a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, last week, and we knew we should take a "Leaf Peeping" trip to catch some of the spectacular color as soon as possible. Unfortunately, last Sunday was an overcast and  hazy day, with predictions of rain, but that made us all the more anxious to see the colors before the trees lost their leaves. Almost as soon as we started out driving west on Highway 285 we were rewarded with our first glimpses of the patchwork colors of autumn aspen trees on the distant mountains!


The closer we drove, the more vibrant the colors became. even with the misty sky! Although it was overcast, it was a fairly warm and pleasant day at lower elevations.


When we entered Clear Creek County, we saw that the aspens had begun the process of changing from green to their deep golden autumn color. We heard that the unusual wet and rainy summer we had in this part of Colorado this year was going to bring exceptional color, and it looked to be true!


Everything looked picture perfect!


We decided to drive the entire Guanella Pass, which connects the town of Grant to the town of Georgetown, both in Clear Creek County.  At its highest point the 22 mile long pass is at 11,670 feet.

The first 12 miles from Grant towards Georgetown is unpaved and the speed limit is slow--perfect for observing the beauty of the surrounding Arapaho and Pike National Forests and the Mt. Evans Wilderness. which lies east of the pass.  This pass is closed in winter, as it is not plowed by the county during that time.


We stopped at many pull outs, and took short walks on  hiking trails along the road.


Although I would have preferred the bright blue Colorado sky to be showing in these photos, I think the more subdued, stormy sky brought out the tree colors just as well.


We were surprised to see a lot of reddish colored aspens--it is a rarer color to see for this genre of tree!


Most of these photos were taken as we drove...


...but every now and then we stopped for a closer look


Would you like to listen to this waterfall?  Just click through to my facebook page at this link to watch a short video. You can also click "Like" on my facebook link-to-follow Mille Fiori Favoriti on facebook at this link.  This creek was running strongly and the water certainly fitted the name of Clear Creek County.


The pine forest remains green all year long, and they are a wonderful backdrop for the bright autumn colors.


I loved this pretty meadow, where even the shrubs were turning fall colors.  


The horses were very intent on grazing.




A view of a beautiful home along the road. Although the land surrounding the pass was comprised of much wilderness there were also areas that were private property.


"Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons" ~ Jim Bishop


"Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty., as if nature had been saving up all year for the Grand Finale." Lauren Destefano

Did you notice the deer jumping into the woods in the first collage, and the photos of the mountain goats in the collage above?  Click on to enlarge the collages for easier viewing. It is always nice to see wildlife in a natural setting and it is a good reminder to drive slowly when on roads such as this one.


Speaking of wildlife, look at this moose my son and his family saw along the Peak to Peak Highway last week!  Moose are always a rare sight to see in Colorado, as they are not indigenous creatures to our state. Twelve moose were brought to Rocky Mountain National Park by wildlife managers from Wyoming and Utah in 1978. You can read more about this fact on this link. Happily they thrived and multiplied until their number is estimated to be above 2,000 in Colorado. They can be unpredictable, and their kick can be deadly, so it is always wise to stay a good distance away if you see one!


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long as I stood
And looked down one as far as I could 
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

From the poem "The Road Less Traveled By" ~ Robert Frost


We could not take either path for very long that day, as the rain finally came!


We ended our ride on the Guanella Pass in the historic town of Gerogetwon, Colorado.  I showed more about this town's charming Christmas festival on this link.   This day I enjoyed a delicious bowl of Green Chili Soup at Ed's 1859 Cafewhich was the perfect way to end a perfect Colorado day!


And now for the winner of the 16 x 20 Easy Canvas photo canvas, with free shipping and handling, like the one my husband and I had made from a  photo we took on the summit of 14,270 foot Mt. Evans, that we are absolutely thrilled with!


Using the web site Random.org, the following blog comment was chosen as the winner # 5! That commnet was left by The Gathering Place.  Congratulations, Joann!  Please e-mail me and I will send the free code and instructions on how to place your Easy Canvas order!

I'm linking this post to the following blog events:


Thanks to all the blog hosts!
* In full disclosure, this is a sponsored post by Easy Canvas. I was provided with a free wall canvas print by Easy Canvas, and Easy Canvas will be providing the code for one winner to obtain a free 16 x 20 canvas from a  photo of their choice with free shipping and handling. 

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73 comments:

Michelle said...

These views are just stunning!

happywonderer said...

The fall colors on your drive are just gorgeous!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

My goodness, the colours are intense, more so than what I've seen yet in Ontario.
The second photo looks like a painting - gorgeous.
Congrats to your winner and thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday Pat.

Barb said...

Hi Pat, The fall colors are just glorious at high altitude this year - more oranges than I've seen in 25 years. Your photos show the incredible beauty of the changing foliage. We had 2 moose in our yard on Saturday - I went onto the deck to photograph them, but they were grazing too far away for my lens to capture them.

Linda Kay said...

Pat, excellent job on all these beautiful photos...makes me a bit homesick for the changing colors of fall.

Veronica Roth said...

Gosh it's lovely in your corner of the old globe Pat. I love those golden aspens. Ours here are also that golden colour. I must get up to my cabin and take all that gold in this year. I can't believe that your son got that close to that moose. I hope he used a big lens or at least was in his car. Holy smokes that's a big boy. We see them at the cabin in the lakes here and there, but also a rare sight. Have a lovely week ahead. So nice to catch up with you again this week. :D

Kris Anderson said...

wow weeeeee -- BEAUTIFUL .. I want to go there -- gee such color of the aspens which are my favorite forest tree..I am still hoping to get a photo of a moose like your son's image - gee perfect look of the eye.. Glad I visited -- have a happy day..
Hugs

Ida said...

Oh my gosh these were stunning and just a delight to view. I enjoyed each and every photo and mosaic.

The Gathering Place said...

Pat,
Thanks for the fun contest! I'm excited to have a large canvas made from one of my photos.
Your photos of the fall colors are so pretty! This is a beautiful time of year!
JoAnn

eileeninmd said...

Pat, the fall colors are just gorgeous. Lovely views of the trees and mountains..Love the moose shots! Congrats to JoAnn! Have a happy week!

diane b said...

Those colours and photos are amazing. I would love to see that in real life.

From the Kitchen said...

You captured the beauty of fall in Colorado. I had no idea just how spectacular it could be. After growing up just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, I miss those lovely fall drives. Here in the midwest, we have lovely color but not the mountains. I feel as if I'd been with you on your drive..

Best,
Bonnie

Mersad said...

Your photos really make me want to travel Colorado. As you said, the scenery is picture perfect. From the awesome mountain roads, to the intense yellow and orange colored trees. I could stare at each photo for hours, taking it all in!

Thank you so much for sharing these with us!

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

Donna said...

I am blown away by the color of the aspens...I think of all the pictures the shot from far away looking at the gold and almost orange mountain was breathtaking and my fav...I hope when I come to CO next year for a wedding in October I can see these beauties in their fall dress.

Snap said...

Pat, you are having such a wonderful time exploring your new state. Aren't the aspen amazing?!!! There is a small canyon near Albuquerque that has maples ... when they add their red to the aspens ... wow! You've made me "New Mexico" homesick! I loved driving the back roads in the mountains .. the valleys with the horses and old barns .. the aspens. Stopping and sitting among the trees and listening to them ... what a wonderful sound! YeeHaw! ;)

ann said...

Once again, a stunning post of Colorado and her gorgeous fall colors. A trip well worth the drive. Often an early snow ruins the colors, but this year the colors have been stunning. Your photographs and goregous.

ladyfi said...

What delicious autumn colours!

Gayle said...

Oh my goodness, just beautiful!!

Felicia said...

Gorgeous images Pat. You make me so homesick for Colorado it hurts, lol.

Lorrie said...

What stunning photos of the intense color of the aspens. They are so striking against the evergreen forests. I really admire the photo with the lake in the foreground and the bit of reflection. Have a great week, Pat.

bj said...

We lived in Colorado when our kiddos were little and so enjoyed the changing colors. I really miss it.
Your photos are just wonderful.

Rena McDaniel said...

Hi! I found this post of the GRAND Social and I fell in love as soon as I read this! We have been to Colorado a couple of times and it has always been one of our favorite states! We are planning a cross country trip with my travel blog Million Mile Blog and actually changed the dates from July to September because of some tips about California! I am so glad I did. I can't wait to check it out for myself. Abolutely amazing photography! I pinned it for later!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

The Frost quote is perfect for your photos! This beautiful scenery is the reason Colorado has captured the heart of my oldest grandson. (He LOVES it!)

Thanks for making Blue Monday special.

Have a Beautiful Blue Monday!

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I love your fall photos; you clearly are soaking up beauty all around you. AND...I JUST POSTED a new header featuring the same view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Jane's Carousel. What a fabulous view for a tourist, and undoubtedly for a New Yorker as well!

Pamela Gordon said...

Pat, these photos and views are so beautiful! I think a cloudy day sometimes brings out the best colours in fall. The golds among the green softwoods really stands out too. Really beautiful!! Have a super week.

Betsy Adams said...

Oh My Heart... This post brought back so many memories. I had never seen the Aspens like that before UNTIL we went to CO in Sept. of 2012... We didn't take the same road you all took --but we did take Highway 34 from Granby north toward RMNP--and saw almost the same thing you saw...Totally amazing/awesome... So glad you got home in time to see this... It's incredible.
Hugs,
Betsy

Michele {Malaysian Meanders} said...

I somehow never realized just how gorgeous the autumn colors in Colorado are. I thought that was just a NE USA thing. Those people living in the wooden cabins are so fortunate to have that view.

Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening said...

Wow...the colors of the landscape are breathtaking and you have captured all the beauty there is in your photographs. Glad to have found you through Mosaic Monday. Thank you for sharing!

Ann said...

It's hard to soak it all in at once. Brilliant and vibrant colors just jump out of the pages. I would say they belong in a book!!
ann

Jeanne said...

Hello Pat, Your trip home enjoying the beautiful aspens along with your photos...is awesome. Colorado is truly a lovely state to live in and enjoy for all seasons. While you were in Atlanta you were only a couple of hours from our home in Western Carolina.

Congratulations to Joann for her giveaway win. It is a lovely gift.

Happy Blue Mon.
xo, Jeanne

Grantham Lynn said...

Stunning views! This would be a perfect post for the Fabulous
Fall linky party. I'd love you to come by and link up! Have a wonderful week,
Sherry

Al said...

That looks lovely. I won't have many fall photos this year as my camera bit the dust last weekend. It was stormy here in Colorado Springs today too, and I'm glad as it had become rather dry.

Valerie said...

Exquisite captures, Pat - thank you so much for sharing this stunning part of the world.

Sylvia K said...

Awesome captures and what a gorgeous part of the world indeed!! Thanks for sharing!!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Just beautiful...the riot of colour in your corner of the world in September! There's not too much colour over here yet...so it is a little hard to get into fall mode. But it is coming!

marisol@travelingsolemates said...

Hi Pat, the autumn on your side of the wood is definitely at work and the foliage color is so so stunning.I love your stunning photos. Autumn here in our good old New York is still a shying away. Summer seems to assert its stay. It's 80 degrees today and the trees and leaves are still green in confusion. I 'm still enjoying the warmth but missing the soulful foliage colors. Thanks for sharing yours.

Bethany Carson said...

So many gorgeous photographs! This post is almost beautifully overwhelming. The fall colors are remarkable, and to top it off we get to see horses, moose, a waterfall, and lovely cabins...ahh...thanks so much for sharing the blissful moments!

Arija said...

Nature surely has done a wonderful job overpainting the landscape. Thank you for taking so many wonderful pictures along the way. Fall is my favourite season and I absolutely love this post
I hear Colorado already had snow last week.

Joyful said...

Stunning scenery and your photos are wonderful too.

Jeanne Selep said...

Your photos make me want to travel to the mountains to see the fall colors. Awesome!

Stop by and see some fall colors in my post.

http://jeanneselep.blogspot.com/2014/09/kaleidoscopes-part-3-fall-colors.html

Priyashi said...

So Beautiful and colorful. Incredible....:)

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Pat; Wow, just awesome view and as you said "the more subdued, stormy sky brought out the tree colors"♡♡♡ What a gorgeous fall color :-)
Love the horses and the moose as well!

Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Roan said...

Awesome scenery! Beautiful barn!

The Furry Gnome said...

Awesome pictures of the gold aspens!

A Taste for Travel said...

I always think of eastern USA when it comes to leaf-peeping but now see that Colorado is absolutely stunning for fall colours. I don't see any other cars in the photos either -- very peaceful. I've pinned some shots for future travels,

Amy Burzese said...

Simply beautiful, Pat. You are right "picture perfect". Thank you for joining my link up!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I grew up just north and west of Denver in the foothills, lived there for over 40 years...this post was like going home for me!!!

Best time of year is Autumn when the Aspen turn.

Lovely, lovely photo shares.

Felicia said...

Hi Pat, had to come back and drool today again. lol. have a good one.

Kathryn Shell said...

Glorious colours. Just beautiful.

Rose said...

Beautiful scenery, and the barn shot is awesome. Always love that weathered wood look. Barns around here get a grayer look generally, so the ones like this are always appealing to me.

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

Oh, Pat, these are beautiful. Truly breathtaking. I've been unwell quite a while now and we've not done ANY traveling to see the colors change, not even up the pass to Woodland Park. So this warms my heart. Thank you.

carol l mckenna said...

Gorgeous photography ~ Love the moose or elk ~

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, what spectacular scenery and autumn color. It's like an artist splashed it with paint! Beautiful shots too Pat.

Kerry Moody said...

Wonderful views, thanks for the tour!

Jo May said...

As always your photo's are "out-of-this-world" amazing, I'm back trying to blog a little, I see you are happily settled in. I'm gonna have to tell ya I miss your "New York" post but these "Colorado" post are just about as amazing....shucks girlfriend if I would have known you was in Georgia last week I would have bought you supper...I'm back "new" follower...I've missed everyone.

LV said...

No place can match Colorado in the fall. I had the pleasure of seeing this once and am still awe of so much beauty.

Light and Voices said...

I enjoyed your cyber tour of the fall colors in Colorado. Thanks.
JM, Illinois-U.S.A.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

This is the most beautiful post Pat! There's nothing quite as beautiful in the fall as Colorado aspens... this is the season we have most often spent visiting our Colorado kids ... and we love it. But I don't remember the town you mention (and that I can't spell right now), but I am going to make a note of it as soon as I send this comment (for future visits, no matter what season).

Vee said...

Oh those quaking, golden aspens! Gorgeous. Congrats to your winner!

AdriBarr said...

Oh Pat, I just can not get over the majesty and beauty with which you are surrounded. Thank you for sharing all the photos. I am quite an armchair traveler, and so these posts are a dream for me. And congratulations to your winner!

Cindy said...

Fall is an easy season to love and also easy to take pictues of, btw your pictures are amazing. I so enjoyed the red roof cabin and did notice the goats and will have to read about why tkhe moose were brought.

Shelia said...

Hi Pat! Oh, how beautiful and what a great photographer you are! I didn't realize you had moved from NYC! Now that's quite a move and you're making me feel better that you still have some unpacked boxes! :) It was so good to hear from you.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

ALL absolutely gorgeous but I think my favorite is an early one...those golden aspens reflecting in the water...just exquisite!

Margaret Adamson said...

Pat, these shots are fantastic, vibrant autumn colour. The scenery is amazing and seeing the Moose is a great bonus. Have a great weekend

Susan F. said...

Just visiting after you left a comment on my blog! What stunning photos - and how lucky your son and husband were to see a moose!

Christian Weiß said...

Great series of photos and a wonderful area.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, thanks so much for sharing your post with my critter party.. I loved seeing the horses and the moose in this post.. Have a happy weekend!

Marie said...

Absolutely stunning shots! The color i9s wonderful! We are just going to have to go back in the fall some time! :-) Loved the moose too!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Beautiful landscapes! I love your critters and the autumn colours.

steviewren said...

The color is glorious there. Leaves in my neck of the woods have barely begun to turn.... just barely.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Your photos are breathtaking! They remind me of picture puzzles that you buy to put together. The aspens are beautiful! Hugs!

Daniela said...

Oh my, yours is truly a great welcome for this wonderful season I love so much, the colours of these woods are so gorgeous !
I go on thanking you so much, my dearest pat, for what you're sharing here !!!
Have a wonderful week
With much love
Dany

Margaret said...

Hi Pat, I've been spending a delightful morning enjoying catching up a bit with your wonderful blog! Upon my return from Vancouver, we had our daughter home for 6 days and for Thanksgiving, before we saw her off to Beijing for a seven week trip to China! Fall is my favorite season also. Gorgeous fall photos! I love them all, especially the one of the beautiful home with the horses in the foreground. Colorado is such a beautiful amazing state!
Margaret from B.C.