We got lucky. There’s no other way to explain the good fortune of scheduling a trip that hits the height of fall colors.
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.
As we made our way through eastern Oregon, we spotted the early signs of fall on the edges of Lake Albert.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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