Sunday, September 24, 2017

Glorious Autumn in Colorado!

Thank you all for your comforting comments to me on my last post. Losing my brother-in-law was such a shock and my entire family is heartbroken. My husband and I were in Italy when he was ill and we did not know of his battle with cancer. We were relieved that he did not suffer long and is now at peace receiving his heavenly rewards for living a good life. His death made us aware even more than ever that we have to cherish every day we are granted here on earth. That is one of the reasons that when I realized that autumn color had already arrived in Colorado, especially in the higher elevations, I needed to take a drive to enjoy it's peaceful beauty.

As you can see in these photos, Colorado's aspen trees began to turn from summer's green to varying shades of gold and orange in September, progressing first from the north of the state down to the south and the highest elevations to the lowest. We could have waited a few more days but knew that this weekend was going to be raining at our lower elevation, and possibly snowing at elevations over ten thousand feet, so much of the autumn leaves might fall from the trees. It is always a guessing game to know when perfect peak color occurs, and I think we were fortunate to catch it very close to prime. (All photos in this post will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)

We drove first to the Kenosha Pass area which, at 10,000 feet (3,000 m) always has beautiful aspen groves full of color in autumn.  It certainly did not disappoint us!

We also happened to see many Painted Lady Butterflies enjoying the wildflowers and flowering weeds along the pass trails. This year was a bountiful year for these butterflies and they have been seen in great numbers as they migrate south towards warmer weather.

We then decided to take a drive along one of our favorite scenic byways--Guanella Pass. It is such a favorite drive that I've blogged about it on other occasions--click here and here to see those posts. This 22 mile scenic and historic byway underwent renovations recently and is now completely paved.  New restrooms are being installed at different locations, as well as many viewing area pull outs and interpretive signs. It is a two way road that leads from Georgetown to Grant and visa versa. We like to ride from Grant to Georgetown, as we often stop in Georgetown to shop and dine.

Guanella Pass is such a pretty ride any time of the year, but especially in autumn.

There are many places to stop and view the golden aspen trees both from a distance and...

...up close for a better view!

There are places to watch waterfalls...

...and places with footbridges to walk over to see creeks flow by.

To see a video of the scene above of Geneva Creek please click over to my blog's facebook page at this link,  or watch below--the sound may have to be turned on the video:


Guanella Pass is one of Colorado's 26 Scenic and Historic Byways and began as a logging and wagon supply road during the gold rush time in the 1850's. It was designated a Scenic and Historic Byway in 1990 and National Scenic Highway in 1991. It was named in 1953 after Byron Guanella, who was a road supervisor and commissioner in Clear Creek County for nearly 50 years. His great grandfather began ranching in the area in the 1860's. Even now there are parcels privately owned property along the pass, such as the beautiful home and horse pasture seen above.

Much of the land around the pass is wilderness, however, with many opportunities to hike and camp and enjoy nature.

The summit of Guanella Pass is at 11,669 feet (3557 m). Higher mountains surround the summit with a trail to the top of Mt. Bierstadt at 14,065 feet (4,287m). It is incredible to be above the tree line and view these jagged peaks so closely.

I found a spot along the road where one side had this view of Clear Creek.  

You can watch a video of this scene at this facebook link or below--the sound may have to be turned on the video:

Directly across from this view was this view...

Mountains striped with bands of pine trees and aspen trees.

It is truly a glorious sight to see!

Our drive on Guanella Pass ended in Georgetown. This was the first glimpse of the town as we descended down the Guanella Pass byway. Georgetown is one of our favorite historic mountain towns and we always enjoy a visit here. We stopped and shopped in a few of the stores and had an early dinner. It was the end of a perfect day and a true spirit lifter.

I plan to share some photos from our trip to Italy in my next post and of course more Colorado stories in between.  It is good to be back to blogging!

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

I'm Back from a Trip to Italy, but.....

Hello to all my faithful readers, and to all that stumble onto my blog today.  I'm so sorry I have been away from blogging for awhile.  I took a planned blog break, as life was busy with back to school activities for my grandchildren. My husband and I then went on a dream vacation to Italy, where we celebrated a saint feast day in my husband's hometown in the Calabria region of Italy. We also visited many of my husband's aunts, uncles cousin that live in Calabria, and also in Genoa and Bologna in northern Italy, with a few visits to nearby scenic towns. I had hoped to share some of the amazing sights from this trip this week on my blog, but we sadly learned of a death in my family that has overwhelmed us with grief. Please be patient with me as I take another week off to mourn.  Thank you for your understanding.  I hope to get back to a regular blog schedule again soon.

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