HaHa! Lucky Me!!!
I’ve had the good fortune to see the autumn leaves many times this year. Several times in September I visited Grand Lake, CO which is located on the western side of the Rocky Mountains. To get there, I have to drive over Trail Ridge Rd. It’s the highest paved road in the U.S.
There are times the road is so high and the drop off is so steep I have to cover one side of my face as a blinder. It’s a two lane road with no guard rails and often has cyclists, tourists stopping their cars to take photos of wildlife, large recreational vehicles moving ever so slow and crazy weather conditions.
But … on those rare days when I am on the road super early in the morning, I can sail along and enjoy the sights, drive at a comfortable pace, cover my face when it feels too steep and bask in this lovely park. One foggy morning I was driving and caught sight of these elk hard at work with their antlers tangled in each other. What a sight!
A bit later in September, I had the opportunity to take a hike up the Cache La Poudre River. My friend and I were a bit surprised to get to the trail head and see the temperature had dipped to 39 degrees. We dressed in layers, grabbed our hiking poles and set off on an amazing trail that climbed ever so gently as it followed the river. That hike was filled with views of the shimmering gold aspen trees near and far. It was stunning.
My most recent trip took place in the Sierra Nevada’s this weekend. The 8 mile hike was uphill and steep in places. It was the kind of hike that your body could go far but you had to stop and let your heart slow down a bit. Aspens lined the trail and in many places the ground was covered with pine needles. I felt like I was walking in someone’s calendar photo. The return hike took 90 minutes because gravity just took over and we sailed down the mountain!
Sometimes I’m unable to enjoy the fall foliage. Either the weather changes too quickly and the leaves fall off before they can give their ‘goodbye dance’ or my timing is off and I don’t get into the mountains to see them in time.
But not this year. This has been one of the best autumns for me in a long time. I’ve stood in the mist of the colors, smelled the leaves on warm days and felt the cool air on my face. Each time I find myself standing in a grove of glittering gold trees, I count my blessings.