Sunday, September 20, 2009

Aspen Ridge

Vapor Trail is finally over. Weeks of preparation, both for the event and for my own ride, went by quickly. Then the event happened, and I woke up Monday morning and it was past. That's OK, I'm wistful but relieved.

Probably the most distinct and lasting images that stay with me from the ride are of the golden aspen that I could see with my lamp as I passed by St Elmo in darkness. Then the dusting of snow on the high peaks around the upper Chalk Creek canyon visible in the pre-dawn light. I remember being somewhat startled by the glowing yellow aspen--it's Fall?!? I'd been so busy for the first two weeks of September that it hadn't really occurred to me that the trees would be changing.

Well, they are. Even more this weekend. Autumn doesn't really start until Tuesday, but the trees are turning.

Yesterday (Saturday) I got to show Kathy the Silver Creek section of the Rainbow Trail for the first time. There were some colorful trees up there, but they were still green for the most part. Today we headed up to Aspen Ridge, north and east of Salida.

The official "gateway" to Aspen Ridge. Framed shot of Mt Antero.

Autumn seems to be coming in kicking and screaming. Another gnarly weather thing is on the way. This shot was taken at about 12:30. Looks like a moist afternoon coming.

The farther up I go, the more turning trees.

This one was from the summit.

Also from the summit, this time with the Sangre de Christo Range framed with Aspen.

Looking off to the north, the Buffalo Peaks.

Another Shavano-Antero shot

And of course, it only makes sense to take the Cottonwood Trail back to town. Just in time to miss the rain.

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