Friday, September 25, 2015

Fall Colors Uraling, Day One

A pretty long day of riding today, left home a bit before 9:00 AM and after a brief stop at the BMW dealer to pick up a part for Brigitta, my '87 R80 Beemer, headed out of town on US285.

The weather was excellent for riding and Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar rig seemed to hum contentedly as we cruised along at about 60 mph.

Kenosha Pass was glorious in terms of Fall Colors as the leaves had turned as I approached it.  However, it was also a chaotic maelstrom of cagers all seeking a parking spot and trying to get photos of the aspen trees.  I elected to keep going instead of fighting the crowds and ending up with pictures that included cagers.

Soon after tanking up at Fairplay, CO, we came to the exit at Como, CO for Boreas Pass.  The leaves were looking quite vivid from the highway so we exited to get a closer look.  I went through the small town of Como and stopped Scarlett short of the hill which one climbs to start up Boreas Pass.

Continuing on, I hit a traffic jam just east of Buena Vista which delayed us for about 25 minutes or so of stop and go driving.

We finally got away from the hordes of cagers as they all seemed to be heading north towards Buena Vista and probably trying for Independence Pass.  Scarlett and I headed South instead, staying on US285 through Salida, Tabeguache and into the San Juan Valley.

About the middle of the San Juan Valley, I took the road towards Del Norte instead of staying on US285, saving myself a few miles.  I picked up westbound US160 and continued on towards Wolf Creek Pass.

About eight miles east of Wolf Creek Pass, I exited onto the Meadow Creek Recreation area for some pictures of more Fall Color.

The overlook at the pass was closed for unknown reasons, so I wasn't able to do the usual stop for pictures of the valley below.  Instead, here's a view of the mountain pass area from down in the valley:

The rocky formations about midway up the mountain and
to the right of the picture, is where the overlook site is located.

Pagosa Springs came and went, soon Scarlett and I were approaching Durango and I spied the KOA Campground sign on the south side of US 160.  I missed the turn initially, had to do a u-turn further on and finally checked in with the campground shortly after 5:15 PM.

I setup my tent and camp, made dinner out of freeze-dried "chicken and rice" and satisfied my hunger if not my palate before heading out to see about sunset shots.

Not being very familiar with Durango, I asked the folks at the campground office about a suitable location and the lady told me to go to the campus of Fort Lewis College as it was on high ground.

I found the campus, and a suitable spot by the school's football field's parking lot:

Sunset from Fort Lewis College

Looking for a spot that overlooked Durango, I found a small park/picnic shelter called "The Lion's Den".  It was accessible via a bumpy gravel road of some steepness and I posed Scarlett overlooking the town:

It was, a bland sunset.  Hopefully I'll find a better spot for tomorrow's sunset.  Tomorrow, the agenda calls for riding north of Durango and seeking Fall Color along the Million Dollar Highway.  Or maybe I'll go to Ridgeway by way of Telluride and then come down the Million Dollar Highway as I return south towards Durango.


SonjaM said...

Beautiful, the contrast between fall colours and blue skies. Back in the Black Forest trees are still green.

Steve Williams said...

*sigh* The fire and flames of the Aspen trees just make me want to abandon everything and walk away into the world. Autumn is a strange time for me and seeing how intense the colors and skies are in your photos reminds me of what's ahead here though we seldom see such sweeping scenes.

The one shot of the traffic -- ugh. Are those leaf peepers or was there an accident? Traffic always that bad there??

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

redlegsrides said...

Danke SonjaM! Mother Nature makes it so easy sometimes

redlegsrides said...

The traffic jam was actually quite unusual and usually involves construction as was the case here. Encountered bigger construction delays on the million dollar road today and scads of leaf peepers!