We didn't get an official annual autumn leaf tour this year. We did see signs of the seasons changing along our way to and from Washington state for the Deception Pass Classic, but our beloved San Juan Mountains to the southwest remained hidden this year. We just couldn't bring ourselves to get in our car again for the entire weekend after we got home this year because we were so road weary.
I missed seeing Mount Sneffels...
...the Maroon Bells...
...and Red Mountain Pass.
We did, however, make a day trip up to Boreas Pass once again because it's close, and we held out hope we might still capture a glimpse of color.
It did not disappoint! In more ways than one!
Only two stands of aspens continued to sport radiant quaking leaves for our first ride up the Pass this year. Those two stands were worth everything it took to pedal up that dusty road amidst a host of motorized leaf-lookers.
The last time we'd tried this ride, I didn't make it to the top. We'd already had our first, second and third snow storms of the season, and The Lizard feared I might slip on the ice higher up. I'm pretty overprotective about my back these days, so it doesn't take much for my dear husband to talk me out of what might be dangerous for me.
I'd been slowly building up last year, hoping to be able to make it to the top of the Pass for the first time, so there was disappointment in turning back, but also joy in what I did get to see and do.
This year, weather was in our favor, and even though I have not been able to do much altitude training at all this year, I made it to the top of Boreas Pass for the first time ever!
We'd driven this pass at least a couple of times before, but I must have fallen asleep above aspen treeline because I did not remember train remnants at the top. This year, all I could think is how much my model railroading dad would have enjoyed exploring the history here. So these photos are for you, Dad!