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Header Photo: Ms Autumn comes to the high country

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Come on, I've got Two Tickets To Paradise...


Outdoor photos have been missing from the BCB lately, what with wrapping up my last days at work, adopting Goldilocks, church presentation, technical research to pull off the former and yesterday's deadline for my monthly column in the Ouray County Plaindealer. Whew! That sounds a lot like work, doesn't it. I hope to be free to focus on more enjoyable tasks now, things like getting Goldie ready for upcoming road trips (more batteries and a rear room makeover) and planning fall photo excursions into the high country with the Chalet (big smile).

Ms Autumn is crashing into Lovely Ouray early this year and she is wearing a coat of many colors. Her slipstream fans fledgling flames, igniting here and there amid the bountiful oak brush forests that dominate our hillsides... transforming them from flaccid Ford Pinto green into a firestorm of gold, crimson and rust. Scrub oak underscores the next rung on the vegetation ladder, "quaking aspen," lapping up to and worshipping at the feet of The Emerald Forest... a discriminatory monoculture of white trunks only

Any day now, flames raging amongst scrub oak will lick the quakies on fire, and transform them into a pot-o-gold... highlighted with pockets of orange as brilliant as my '69 Camero (sigh). That, is what we have to look forward to... and to be able to enjoy it alone. 

I realize, because I've been there, that New England's show is more spectacular... but, trust me on this, you will not be "alone." No, Ms Autumn is the northeast's Superbowl, and the "stadium" is jam packed with spectators. They poke along en masse... proliferating on formerly sensuous and lonely backroads and along the first quarter mile of "public" woodland trail. I was forced to risk trespass in order to find an unpeopled photo op. You see, fall in New England is a competitive sport. One must train for it; brace for it. 

I felt utterly disenfranchised from Ms Autumn. Take, for instance, my unfortunate decision to take in the cute and artsy village of Kennebunkport, Maine. In what can only be described as a riot... pedestrians and cars and festivities... we were snared for hours in the very antithesis of Ms Autumn's spirit and image in New England's much acclaimed "show." We were gouged by motel sharks with "one room left," and gored by gas pumps and restaurants with lines around the block. Was it beautiful beyond belief? Yes, absolutely. Will I ever return? No, positively. I much prefer the two-minutes-to-solitude offered in and around Lovely Ouray... that I don't even need a car.  

Stay tuned for Ms Autumn. The show is about to begin. I'm excited. I own my time for the next six months... at least. Big smile. Now here's a little pre-fall bike ride up county road 14 for your enjoyment, right here in Lovely Ouray.


This is what happens when a severe thunderstorm parks itself over a basin above Lovely Ouray. We found our backroad bike ride route buried under five feet of mud and boulders. It took two days to clear the debris.

Heading up County Road 14


A twinge of fall...

White House Mountain

We passed this serene scene... Lake Lenore all "decked" out with sleeping boats and canoes






Views down valley, to Ridgway.

If only "Life" could be this black and white...

Campers in Meadow...

Then end of the road, but the beginning of the trail...

My favorite photo of the day... it speaks volumes 

The scrub oak is catching fire...

Descending into Lovely Ouray... under the watchful eye of Mount Abrams pyramid peak

8 comments:

  1. Enjoyed your photos as always but your comments on New England's autumn superbowl really made me think.

    For some reason, that last picture of Lovely Ouray makes me think of Brigadoon.

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  2. dude...you just needed a local guide! Kennebunkport?!? god! no wonder you hated it.

    Love the black and white of Bobbie!

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  3. Donna K,
    I can hear the music in the background... "It's almost like being in love..." :))
    thanks for your comment

    Darin,
    I know, but you had to go to work :((
    Maybe next time.
    Thanks for not taking my personal opinion "review" personally :))
    mark

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good thing that mudslide didn't occur the day you got stuck riding your bike in the thunderstorm back from Ridgway.

    Great photos. We already miss Colorado, but there's always next summer!

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  5. Mark...As someone who lived in New England (Boston) for 30+ years, your description of the magnificence of autumn there is right on the money. Unfortunately, you're also correct about the number of Leaf Peepers! While I can understand wanting to experience the beauty, it was always annoying to get about one's regular life while dealing with the tour buses and those who thought stopping in the middle of the road for a photo was a good idea, often realizing too late that driving in the northeast is essentially a blood sport. Love your Ouray fall photos! Debbie

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  6. Jim and Gayle,
    No kidding, I was pretty much spent that day... enough drama, already. It appears you guys are close enough to pay Colorado a visit or two during fall...
    thanks.

    Debbie,
    Re: "Blood Sport." Especially on the interstates!!!

    We get the leaf peepers stopping in the road for photo ops too. At least there is less traffic around here so not as big of problem.
    thanks for backing me up :) I feared some "backlash" over this post.
    mark

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  7. I just mentioned to someone a few days ago that when retirement comes I want to see the leaves change out east and also in Colorado. Now I'm not so sure about the "out east" part of the list. Bumper to bumper is not my idea of fun. Of course, the real challenge will lie in persuading the farmer to leave during harvest time.

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  8. C and M,
    Don't let my "review" dissuade you from a New England fall. Everyone needs to see it at least once, then decide for themselves if they want to return. Like Darin said, maybe you need a guide... just don't call us :))
    Thanks for you comment
    mark

    ReplyDelete

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