Saturday, October 02, 2010

It's Fall

And that means a drive to the mountains to see the changing leaves--at least if you are in Colorado. So that is what we did last week. We drove west on US 285 toward Fairplay and we saw lots of beautiful aspen groves changing color.

In the Colorado high country, most of the trees with leaves are aspen and they most often turn a bright yellow or gold--maybe because so much gold was mined in these mountains. If you are from other parts of the country, you may be used to bright reds and oranges, but you may not see the changing leaves against the dark green of the conifer trees we have here.

Sometimes we do see some orange leaves.

On our way into Fairlay, we drove through the town of Como, where there is an old railroad roundhouse.

It was built with three bays, expanded to six, then reduced to three after a fire and slowing traffic on the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad. Not much is left of Como, but the people who live there may identify their homes by color instead of address. Look at this one, across the street from the roundhouse.

The Park County Courthouse in Fairplay must have been the smallest courthouse built in Colorado.

It is now the library. And they don't built them like that any more. Here are the Park County offices today.

On the far side of Fairplay, we drove over Hoosier Pass to Breckenridge. The pass isn't for the faint of heart. More than one curve had a sign like this one.

We even saw a lot of color in the town of Breckenridge.

On the way back to Cherry Creek State Park on the east side of Denver, we drove through the Johnson Tunnel, the east-bound bore of the Eisenhower Tunnel, which goes through the Rockies and Continental Divide at about 11,000 feet above sea level. It is really impressive and saves miles of travel and lots of weather delays for skiers and others.

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