LATE AUTUMN IN THE PASSES: COLORADO, PART I

After a summer as Campground Hosts on the Oregon Coast, we were hungry for MOUNTAINS! We fled 103 degree temps during a two week visit with Sally’s mom in Los Angeles for…early winter in Rocky Mountain National Park.

img_8121

The National Park Service struggles mightily to keep Trail Ridge Rd. open over a 12,000 foot pass at the base of Long’s Peak (14,000 ft) for as long as possible in the Autumn. Unfortunately we didn’t time it right as winter conditions kept shutting down the road. We camped on the West side of the pass where the elk were still in rut, and on the East side for two great hikes in the Park….with a long drive around the outside of the park to string them together.

img_8113

We fled Boulder after enjoying a long walk by their central creek, as the growth, traffic, and expense was surprising; it is the effect of Boulder’s identity as a high tech corridor…and Google building a new campus there for 1200 new employees. Instead we stayed downtown in Denver to visit the fabulous Denver Art Museum and the Botanic Garden.

img_8200

Wow! The Botanic Garden is like a visit to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C! No wonder so many Californians are moving here for the bike lanes and sophisticated city combined with easy access to the mountains.

img_8195

We headed southwest to tackle three 10,000-12,000 ft. passes that close soon for winter. On the way over Independence Pass, we stayed for free at a Forest Service area that had a potty with a fabulous view…

img_8264

We cleared the Pass and hustled on to the next one, with a free hot spring soak on the Crystal River…

img_8276

Will we make it over our next two passes before the snow falls in earnest? We are hustling to get to those with  muddy dirt/gravel roads first. Even if the roads are technically still open, without AWD, they just are not going to be available to us.

selected_photo

This entry was posted in Blog on by .

About Sally

A Studio Artist and painter trained at Stanford university, Sally has since then graduated from a long career as an Attorney with the Public Defender, and returned to painting. Living in Mexico with her son for a year, they adopted a feral dog, Lety. Sally's son left for college and their dog adopted her new best friend, Steven.

One thought on “LATE AUTUMN IN THE PASSES: COLORADO, PART I

Leave a Reply