Monday, October 02, 2006

We're Back

We're back from our Colorado vacation. We went there a week, with Sam, and stayed in Balltown, right (literally) at the intersection of US 24 and Co 82. Right at the foot of the second highest peak in the Continental United States -- Mt. Elbert. Out our west and south facing windows, all we could see was Mt. Elbert and Quail Mountain, respectively.

The original plan was to go out camping in September in the Maroon Bells area, since I'd never seen them. It'd be on the cheap -- tents, food we brought, etc.

However, a quick look at the climatology data showed that it could easily be getting down into the mid 20's at night, and a quick check around for campsites along Maroon Bells road showed that they were all reserved. We could camp in the wilderness area, but restrictions required that we hike in at least 1.5 miles, just past Crater Lake.

That's a long way from the car on a cold night if you forgot something.

So we opted for WinMar Cabins -- mostly as a place that would be better than tents, and changed our plans to a Fall Aspen sight-seeing visit, a trip to the Maroon Bells, and a possible attempt on Mt. Elbert late in the week.

Well, Thursday and Friday snow fell above 9,000 feet, and a lot of it. 10 or so inches, and more at higher elevations. Reports that the aspens had started turning in early September combined with a report from a Denver news station that said for the best chance of seeing color one should go between the 10th and the 20th -- I was worried the Aspen Aspect would be a bust. To top it all off, I also read that early snows tend to knock the leaves off early. I was wondering if we'd scheduled our vacation about a week too late.

We didn't.

While the color MIGHT have been better the week before, the week before also had a couple of days of snow, a closed Independence Pass -- not good for sight seeing.

The weather was great. The only day were there were clouds to speak of (between Sunday and Saturday) was Wednesday when a cold front passed through. It wasn't that cold and there weren't that many clouds. Highs at the cabins were typically between 65 and 75, lows in the low 20's.

And the color was just fine.

Next several posts will, as usual after a vacation, be posted in order (reverse order as you read them from top to bottom), as if I had blogged them every day -- which I didn't. Stay tuned....

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