I’ve always said to my clients, that when they buy real estate in Colorado Springs, they get the rest of the state of Colorado as their back yard. This weekend we took a rather extensive road trip to see some of our kids – and some fall color, in our ‘back yard’.
We started in Ft Collins where our youngest daughter lives. Ft Collins is a 2 hour drive from the Springs, home to Colorado State University, and with population of only 100,000, a nice smaller town to visit. We did not get a lot of visiting time on this trip, but we decided we liked the Cambria Suites where we stayed, and will likely stay there again for our next visit.
From there, we headed through Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park (I just HAD to get the season pass). The weather was perfect and summer-like. We did a little hiking and had a picnic lunch. Then we took Trail Ridge Road, one of the highest paved roads in the country, over the Continental Divide. The colors and vistas were breathtaking, although we did not see any elk at Rocky Mountain National Park, the first time I think I have ever missed them on a fall day visit.
We drove along the Colorado River to Kremmling, and then headed up to Summit County and I70 to go around the Gore Range. We continued west over Vail Pass, through the Glenwood Canyon, and then on to Carbondale to visit our son and his wife. We always marvel at the scenery of Glenwood Canyon, but we had an extra surprise when had almost arrived at Glenwood Springs. A small herd of bighorn sheep tried to jump onto the interstate right in front of us. It was fortunate we were not going too fast, we were able to stop, they retreated, and we went on our way.
Of course when we got to our son’s house, there were elk grazing in the fields right behind the fire station where he worked, so we didn’t really miss out after all. The elk make such an eerie sound when they are in the rut, it was really fun listening as well as seeing them.
We got a chance to do some hiking on Sunday in the beautiful sunny warm weather. The aspens were gorgeous at around 9,000 feet, and we had a great time on the edge of the Snowmass – Maroon Bells Wilderness area. The morning started in the 40’s, but it was almost 80 degrees when we had lunch in Aspen.
The trip home was over Independence Pass, another 12,000 ft pass. This is a very narrow, winding road that is only open in the summer, closing at the first big snow or end of October, whichever comes first. The colors were once again fantastic, and traffic was surprisingly smooth. We made it back in 4 hours and 15 minutes, including a 1/2 hour dinner break in Woodland Park.
The fall is one of my favorite times of year for a weekend getaway. I’m glad we took the time to do it right this year! I’m also glad we didn’t wait. Today, the news was posting pictures of snow on Independence Pass. Feels good to have gotten over it before the snow came.