Saturday, September 8, 2012

First of the Season - Autumn Color in Colorado's High Country

It's the time of year when the foliage of the aspen trees in Colorado's high country begin to change from brilliant green to golden yellow.  Traveling through the mountains reveal landscapes that have changed overnight from plain and ordinary to dramatic and spectacular.

This fall I have plans to travel many of the back roads to capture the glory of the changing landscape in photos.  The weekend has already provided me with an opportunity to experience this yearly beauty.  As a birthday gift to Nancy, I flew her best friends from Pittsburgh - Millie and Bob out to Colorado to visit her.  During these periodic visits I always try and take them out to experience some special part of Colorado.  To fulfill this goal on their current trip I drove them up and over Guanella Pass and into the historic town of Georgetown.

Guanella Pass is traversed by the Guanella Pass Scenic Highway that serves as a connection between US 285 to the south and I-70 to the north.  Much of the land through which the roadway travels is made up of the Pike National Forest.  There are many trail heads off the roadway that lead into remote areas of the Mt. Evans Wilderness Area and other areas of the Pike National Forest.

For those curious about history - the pass was named for Byron Guanella who was a road supervisor and county commissioner in Colorado's Clear Creek County for over 50 years.  The pass was named in his honor in 1953.

At the top of the pass there is access to trails that lead to the summit of Mt. Bierstadt, one of the most climbed 14ers in the entire state of Colorado.

As we climbed through the steep switch backs that make up the southern approach to the pass, we were surprised to find that a large number of the aspen trees were already at the height of their color.  Luckily I had brought my landscape photography camera with me and was ready to capture this great display of natural beauty.

The attached photos are a few of the pictures that I took on this trip.  Over the next month or two I will be certain to post other photos of the changes colors on the blog.

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

(The highest peak in this photo is Mt. Bierstadt named for the famous painter - Albert Bierstadt.  This is the most frequently climbed 14er in the entire state.  I've personally climbed this mountain 5 times.  The last time I climbed this mountain was in 2009.  It was Zack's first summit of a 14er!)

 (This area in the photo is known as "The Willows" and prior to 2000 was one of the most difficult areas to pass through on the way to Mt. Bierstadt.  It is called The Willow's due to the fact that it is covered in scrub willow bushes.  In 2000 a series of boardwalks were built that allow hikers to traverse The Willows without having to claw and push their way through the sharp scratch bushes.)

(This stand of aspens were on the northern side of Guanella Pass on the way into Georgetown.)


1 comment:

Lisa from NJ said...

I just want to tell you that I think Patty would be thrilled about what you did for her mother's birthday. I have never met either of you but how could she not ne thrilled that you have remained so close and continue to do the things for her that sadly Patty is not here to do. You are also role modeling for Zack what a great father,son, husband and son in law is.