Road Trip, Travel

Fall Colors

We got lucky. There’s no other way to explain the good fortune of scheduling a trip that hits the height of fall colors.

The route took us on a big loop through the west.

Our late September two-week road trip took us up through Nevada, California and Eastern Oregon, across Idaho to Montana, then south through Wyoming and Colorado into northern New Mexico before heading southwest to come home. I mapped it out months ago.

Lake Albert, an alkali lake in eastern Oregon.

As we made our way through eastern Oregon, we spotted the early signs of fall on the edges of Lake Albert.

The Aspens shimmered and quaked.

Climbing into the mountains in Idaho, the bright, fall yellow leaves on the Aspens shimmered in the sun. Then other colors started to appear: all manner of reds and oranges.

The colors were especially bright along the rivers.

I marveled at the way the colors sparkled in the sun and marked the locations of the streams that ambled along next to our backroads route. 

A valley in Colorado showed off under a thick fog bank.

Even as we climbed toward the snow-covered peaks of the Rockies and cruised through Fremont Pass at 11,518 feet, the colors stayed vivid. 

The hillsides in the mountains were stunning.

As we headed south toward New Mexico the bright colors started to fade, not yet ready to make their spectacular fall debut that far south.

Spotting the Saguaros, we knew we were close to home.

By the time we got back to Arizona, the palette out the window had returned to green. When we spotted our first Saguaro cactus the browns and sages of the desert told us we were home. 

This tree in Montreal in 2014 is a favorite fall color image.

It reminded me of another fall trip years ago. We crossed our fingers and planned a train trip through the Adirondacks to Montreal on an October weekend. That year, “M” was for Montreal. Six months out, you can’t predict the fall colors with any real accuracy. The timing on that trip proved fortuitous, too, and the colors were resplendent. 

If you’re lucky enough to live close enough to take a fall colors drive, save a few weekends in the fall so you’re ready to hop in the car and enjoy the stunning scenes as Mother Nature changes into her fall brilliance. If not, do what I’ve done – plan a trip and cross your fingers. Maybe you’ll get lucky, too.

There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Marvel at the changing seasons.

© The World A to Z, LLC 2021 — Unless otherwise indicated, no compensation was received for this blog.

1 thought on “Fall Colors”

  1. I love that you captured the beauty of fall so wonderfully . It makes me sad that I may have missed all the colors on the east coast while in the southwest. Next year I may have to retrace your track in the beautiful west! Thanks for sharing.


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