Sunday, September 25, 2016

More Fall Colors

This Sunday, given the hordes of leaf-peeping cagers currently swarming over the popular highway destinations for Fall Color, I decided to stay somewhat closer in to the Metro Denver area.

The main destination was the Switzerland Trail in the hopes it had some Fall Colors.

I crossed the metro area using the I-25 to US35 slabs to get to Boulder or the PRB in good time.  I transited through the PRB and turned west using Left Hand Canyon Road.  Not much color to report on this nice and twisty canyon road until you get higher up in altitude and closer to the Peak to Peak Highway aka CO Hwy 72.

 On Left Hand Canyon Road, approaching CO 72 aka the Peak to Peak Highway

Once Scarlett and I reached the Peak to Peak Highway, we turned South on it to keep some distance from the cagers who were most assuredly swarming over Estes Park about 30 miles north.

I turned off on County Road 93, heading towards the Boy Scout Camp to look for Fall Colors.  I found them too, a nice bunch of it at the private lake that is Beaver Reservoir.

 Fall Colors next to the Beaver Reservoir

 ScooterBob gets to witness Colorado Gold

 That triangular peak is called Sawtooth Peak for obvious reasons.
It's one of the mountain peaks visible also from the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Back on CO 72, we headed a little further south, this time turning west into the Brainard Lake Recreation Area.  It's a fee area and it cost me $10 to get in.  It's more of a hiking destination however, I'll have to go back some day if I ever do pick up hiking.

 A vista of the nearby peaks as one heads into the area

 Pawnee Peak on the left and Mount Audubon on the right

 ScooterBob near Brainard Lake 

Exiting the recreation area, we headed south once again and this time stopped at a favorite spot for pictures.  Unfortunately, the colors in the vicinity were so brilliant that the place was swarming with leaf-peepers, getting in the way of many picture angles.  I got only one:

Heading away hurriedly from the milling cagers and leaf-peepers, we rode a short way further south and I posed Scarlett near the edge of a pullout area.

 Along the Peak to Peak Highway south of Ward, CO

Shortly after the above shots, I found the turn off for Gold Hill Road.  This dirt road was pretty much lacking in terms of Fall Colors however.  I did find the turnoff for the Switzerland Trail and spent the next hour or so bumping along slowly on this rocky trail.

Progress was slow as I didn't want to loose the fillings in my teeth or parts off the rig as we descended down into the valley.  Again, no real fall colors or very scenic shots so no pictures taken.  Finally, reached a junction with County Road 118 which became Four Mile Canyon Road.

Very nice and twisty, this canyon road, but again no Fall Colors or much in the way of scenery.  A few miles down this road, we came upon this imposing rock/brick structure that used to be a mill for the Wallstreet Gold Mine Complex back in 1902:

Not much remains of the other buildings but there was the Assay Museum just a bit further on from the mill structure.  I didn't stop, but if you're so inclined, the museum is waiting for you.

Update: 22NOV16: While searching for something else, found this picture of what the mill looked like back in the day:

source: X-61546

Four Mile Canyon dumped us onto CO119 which we took towards Boulder.  We took CO93 from Boulder to Baseline Road and from there swiftly left the PRB and transited north of the Metro Denver area to I-25.

I-25 would take us to 104th Street east, to Tower Road at the town of Reunion.  From there it was just boring usual roads back to the home neighborhoods.

Scarlett ran pretty well though once in a while she'd run a little rough in first gear.  I think the air filter might need replacing.  I'll find out this coming week as Scarlett went over 40K Km during this ride and it's time for services!


CCjon said...

You captured some great Colorado Golds there. Great shots. The green-gold contrast is striking.

Hope to get some New England Fall color shots in a couple of week.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks CCjon, looking forward to seeing the pics you get in New England.....they probably got a lot of red colors in their Fall Colors.

Michael J. said...

Some beautiful pictures!! Nothing here in east central Florida like that. Born in Denver - I miss it!! Thanks for the sharing!!

Oz said...

Great weather for some great photos. The colors are awesome.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Mike Mike, spent teenage years in Miami, don't miss it at all.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Thomas Osburn, worked out pretty well weather-wise.

Trobairitz said...

Wow, those yellows are so vivid. We mostly have maples around here for fall color so we get the oranges and reds.

redlegsrides said...

The trick, Trobairitz, is to find trees that are being back-lit by the sun, then they almost seem to glow.

I'd love to see some oranges and reds mixing with the yellows....I think New Englanders get all the colors.

RichardM said...

I like the backlit trees. I occasionally see one, think about stopping, then keep going. No good place to pull over an most roads.

redlegsrides said...

That's kind of important, being safe while on the side of the road. Thanks for the comments.

Bluekat said...

So beautiful there this time of year! Or especially this time of year. :)
I must remember to go leaf peeping in CO. Our colors here are much more subtle.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Bluekat, you know, Ron and you are always welcome at Casa Chang.

SonjaM said...

Interesting building, almost ancient looking in its style, although a mere 100+ years old. I like it.

Good to see Scooterbob enjoying the fall foliage. Lovely pics, Dom, so vivid. We don't get these here.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, the Black Forest around you makes up for the lack of Colorado Gold during this time of year!

David Masse said...

Beautiful foliage Dom. I'll have to get out to the countryside here to see some color myself. So far not much going on in the city.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks David Masse, not much color here in the front range yet either....soon though.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful pictures!

redlegsrides said...

thanks, JennTeacher

Unknown said...

Fab photos, Dom!

That mill is unique: From what I've seen, most large mills in Nevada, Utah, and Colorado were wooden structures on concrete foundations. I've never seen a stonework mill / mill foundation. I'll have to try to include that spot in one of my Colorado rides.

redlegsrides said...

thanks Ry Austin, it was built in 1902 so perhaps they'd gotten away from the less permanent wooden structures by then or it was quite the gold mining operation there.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful area! Never been up there but would love to go now!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks motoventures, glad I strayed from the usual paths this day.

redlegsrides said...

to all who commented...found an old picture of the mill from "back in the day", added it to the posting.