Sunday, September 28, 2008

Peak week for leaf peeping

Say THAT three times fast.

The lino tool is wounded, the season is escaping, and I've been feeling that sort of mild panic that comes with knowing that the best outdoor weather is NOW, and I'm missing it.

Thankfully I wrapped up a couple of jobs last week and could take some time off this weekend without guilt. It's "Peak" around here, the height of autumn color for aspen trees, so once again we trundled in to the car and went off on an adventure.

Yesterday we trekked over Independence Pass to the infamous town of Aspen. It's about a 2.5-hour drive from here when the pass is open. Once the pass closes for the season it takes more than 5 hours to get there. One might think we still have plenty of time before said closure occurs. But one would have to keep in mind that it's SNOW falling around me here at the summit and on the peaks in the background. We're at... hmmmm..... 12,000+ feet elevation.

The DM on the Lake County side of the Pass. I dunno. I just like this picture.

I suppose I should say something about The Aspen Experience... but about the most telling thing I can think of is this: On one street corner alone we saw three stores selling furs. And in the Farmer's Market we saw little girls trying on "mink" vests (probably they were just mink substitutes, but one never knows).

We also saw a lot of offices occupied by psychics. They were second only to offices occupied by accountants.

Anyway, you can see that the weather wasn't totally cooperative for this venture. Mostly good down below, but cloudy and rainy and snowy in the higher elevations. Not so good for getting out and stomping about.

The journey to Aspen and back took the better part of the day and we pretty much crashed when we got home. But I was determined that we would get out for some "local" color today, so we got an earlier start and headed up Marshall Pass.

From Salida to the summit of Marshall Pass is only about 26 miles, but it took us the same 2.5 hours that it took to cover the 90 miles to Aspen. 1) The Marshall Pass road is dirt, not paved highway. Rocky and bumpy. And we're in my Geo Prizm. 2) The weather was SPECTACULAR, and the color equally so. We had to stop a lot. Take pictures. Wander a little ways down trails and come back. You know: Slack off!

So... some highlights from the day, and then it's time to turn my attention back to things that need doing around here. Enjoy!
Climbing Marshall Pass from the Chaffee County side.
Yes, that's snow on the peaks.

My favorite local peak, Mount Ouray.

Marshall Pass summit, looking west-ish into Gunnison County.

It's all about the gold, eh?


  1. where is Marshal and ouray?
    your pict is very nice...
    nice to meet you

  2. Hi, Niar! Marshall Pass and Mount Ouray are in central Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains of the US. Thank you for visiting! Your thesis about child soldiers is an important story to tell. Thank you for telling it.

  3. hi sherrie - came accross your site today via Lynn Weir's. Love your reduction cuts - summer aspen is a favourite I think. As for those pictures from your recent trips to see the autumn aspen - well I'm envious (being a fan of autumn leaves who doesn't get to see many here in Australia). Keep up the good work.

  4. Hi Pete! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for letting me KNOW you're stopping by. Lynn's work is lovely, isn't it?

    But Australia's having SPRING now! Transitions are good everywhere. (It's those tedious winters and summers in between that make us crazy, eh? ;-)

  5. Check out the ogle-meat! You'll have to come visit me at the new place I'm working and paint some REALLY cool and absurdly rare animals!

  6. Thomas! Where the heck have you been? Fleeing the country, apparently. Not a bad idea at the moment. Thanks for ogling at me again... it's been a while!