Friday, October 2, 2015

An Autumn Drive Over Kenosha Pass to Buy a Bear

This was the sight that greeted my eyes last week as my husband and I drove up US 285 to Kenosha Pass, elevation of 10,000 feet.  The aspens were at peak color in glorious shades of yellow, gold, and orange. (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge fro easier viewing if clicked on)

The immense aspen groves meshed with part of the vast pine Pike National Forest that traverses this area of Colorado.

In this portion of the pass you can see that the tree leaves  were in the process of changing from their normal green to autumn yellow.

Right before the end of the pass, traveling west, we saw a road side pull off. We parked and found the two above interesting signs there. (please click photo to enlarge)

I also had the chance to walk around under some of the aspen trees....

...and take some close up photos.

We did not linger too long, however, and soon we were on Kenosha Pass again as we were on our way to buy a bear in the town of Fairplay, in South Park.

South Park is comprised of beautiful flat basin of gently rolling grasslands, lying at 10,000 feet elevation, and surrounded by mountain peaks, some of which are over 14,000 feet.

I took all of these photos as we were driving on US 285, so they are not the sharpest quality, but I wanted to show you the cattle ranches...

 ...and rustic old barns....

...and beautiful homesteads we passed along the way.

There was lots of fall color on the distant mountains..

...with bare, high mountains looming in the background.

It won't be long until snow comes to this high elevation, and the snow fences were up in many areas to prevent snow drifts from blowing across the road.

We finally reach our destination!  It is the Fairplay Consignment Furniture Shop

There is a large display of recycled tree trunk carved wooden bears, owls and moose outside. I've been wanting to purchase one of these bears, ever since I moved to Colorado, to greet guests at my front door. My husband decided that this nice autumn ride should culminate in the purchase of any bear I wanted! He must have read the sign the bear above was holding  I looked for quite awhile until I chose the one that "spoke" to me, and we loaded him into our trunk.

Our ride back was also enjoyable, as we saw all the beautiful foliage again on the way home. We were also relieved not to encounter any rain even though the skies were threatening for most of the day.  Here we are headed back over Kenosha Pass...

...and in this direction we could see the 73,000 acre Mt. Evans wilderness ahead

Here is my bear! 

I liked him the best, as he was one of the more rustic looking bears in the group. My granddaughter thinks that he looks very friendly! What do you think?

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Autumn in a Cemetery

On a beautiful blue sky day my husband and I took a drive up into the mountians, to see some of the autumn color, and came upon a 1865 cemetery upon a hillside outside of Central City. It was the Rocky Mountain Independent Order of Odd Fellows #2 Cemetery. The Independent Odd Fellows is a benevolent fraternal organization that was founded in North America in the early 1800's

(All photos will enlarge for easier viewing when clicked on)

That is a big name for this small, quiet, and changing aspen shaded place of final rest for some of the early pioneer families of this area.

Many of the headstones were in good condition, considering all the weather they have endured over the years. The gravestones' symbolic funerary art designs and inscriptions were very beautiful.

One of the most unusual makers in the cemetery was the small limestone cabin with the name "Walter."  This poignant symbol of home marks the family plot for the children of this family. The sad reality of the times, one hundred and fifty years ago, was that many children died young, from disease, injury or natural disasters.

So, on this glorious autumn day in Colorado, amid aspens trees of gold, we walked and reflected upon the seasons of the year and the seasons of life itself.  The only sound we heard was the crunching of leaves beneath our feet and the gentle breeze in the air. There is beauty all around us, even in a cemetery--especially in autumn.

Come back in a few days and I'll show you more of Autumn in Colorado. We recently visited two mountain passes where we saw exceptional color,

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