Late September and October are great times to take a â€œminiâ€ Colorado vacation. The only real issue is whether on not you might run into SNOW!
The weekend of September 26th and 27th was a perfect example. Early in the preceding week, Trail Ridge Road was closed for a few days due to an early snow. By Saturday however the drifts had been cleared and the road was open once again.
What a couple of spectacular days! No clouds from horizon to horizon, reasonably warm temperatures and that electric blue Colorado sky!
The aspen were a beautiful gold and other types of trees were a range of colors from still green to crimson. As those of us who live here know it takes just a hint of a breeze to make the aspen leave move and as they do their gold color appears to be glimmering.
Since the road is a steep winding climb all but the drivers had an opportunity to watch the magnificent scenery go by. There are many turn-outs for those that wish to take pictures or just gaze at the amazing sights.
Wildlife and bird watching can be spectacularat this time of year as well. Along the way a few herds of elk can be spotted and the experienced Rocky Mountain National Park travelers as well as those who thoroughly read the pamphlet handed out at the entrance keep their eyes peeled for the elusive moose that also inhabit the Park
Amazingly enough we even saw a bicyclist or two making the trek over the top!
Once down from that always (at least for the driver) somewhat stressful drive you have the option of going in several different directions. We elected to go to Steamboat Springs since we had a wedding to attend. It was mid-afternoon and in the low 70â€™s when we reached the â€œSpringsâ€! Enjoyed the wedding and associated goings on, spent a restful night and headed back to the Park on Sunday morning.
Same magnificent weather, a whole lot more visitors and another unbelievable drive. Trail Ridge Road is one of those day trips that every time you take it you see something new and different and it never gets to be routine or boring.
Contributed by David Wagner of Evergreen Colorado