Colorful Colorado in the Autumn 2016 with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

The days are getting shorter.   The nights are getting colder.   It is time to go to the mountains to see the gold among the pines.   Yesterday we drove Highway 285 southwest from Denver to Kenosha Pass.   This is a favorite fall viewing area for changing leaves.   On the way, we stopped to see this river.

North Fork of the South Platte River

North Fork of the South Platte River

This is the north fork of the South Platte River.   We are ducks, so we love water.

North Fork of the South Platte River

North Fork of the South Platte River

The mountain and changing aspen are also beautiful.   This greeted us as we neared the summit of Kenosha Pass.

Kenosha Pass in the autumn

Kenosha Pass in the autumn

Wow!   We love the pine trees mixed in with the aspen, now some green, some red, some orange, and most are vibrant yellow.   Here we are, sitting on the car, looking across a wet area.

It was too windy for us, but we saw everything from inside the car.

It was too windy for us, but we saw everything from inside the car.

This will be our last photo here.   It is windy and we blew off the car.   Lucky for us, mom chased and found us.   Such beautiful colors, but for only a short time.

Colors and fence in foreground

Colors and fence in foreground

Leaves change colors when they die, so they will blow off the trees; rain and snow will also pull them to the ground.   This is a great hiking road in a campground.

Hiking in campground

Hiking in campground

This is a wonderful place to camp, enjoying the Colorado colors.   Every direction you look, you see so many aspens in their fall colors.

Such color

Such color

The roads had lots of traffic and the parking areas were almost full.

Many enjoying Colorado colors

Many enjoying Colorado colors

But hiking wasn’t crowded at all.

Hiking this beautiful day.

Hiking this beautiful day.

It is nice to see so many people enjoying the nice weather and the beautiful fall colors.   On the television and in the newspaper, many long time photographers said that this is an exceptional year for leaves.   Our aspen do not have the big leaves or the bright reds of the maple trees in other parts of the country, but our small leaves shimmer in the sunlight and look beautiful with the green pine trees, granite mountains and the Colorado blue sky.   For a short time the aspens are orange and red also.   This was a treat to see the group of red aspen by the road.

Red aspen

Red aspen

We love to see the changing leaves in the fall.   We hope you enjoy the changing colors in  your area also.

PINE, COLORADO AND KENOSHA PASS

Wednesday mom and I, Zeb the duck, took I-70 west to C470 and then south on Highway 285.  We were going to have lunch at Pine, Colorado and then drive to Kenosha Pass to see the Aspen Trees.  It was a beautiful, sunny Colorado day.

We met our friend, K-rad, and then headed to Pine.  We decided to have lunch at the Historic Colorado Saloon, the BuckSnort Saloon.  To get there, we drove into Pine, then turned left on 4th Street, then right on Elk Creek Road.   This mountain road is very scenic.  Even a small waterfall in Elk Creek.

Elk Creek

Elk Creek

When we arrived, ready for lunch, we discovered the Bucksnort is closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The historic BuckSnort Saloon

The historic BuckSnort Saloon

And this is Wednesday.  Mom…you picked the wrong day.  These might just be winter hours now, but check before you come.  We took some pictures here.  The log building is over 100 years old.

Entrance to BuckSnort with my friend K-rad

Entrance to BuckSnort with my friend K-rad

It is from the 1890s when this was a stage stop and general store.  The BuckSnort Saloon is very popular with motorcycle riders.  One even arrived while we were there.  He was looking for lunch too.

Log buildings near BuckSnort.  I am at foot of flag pole

Log buildings near BuckSnort. I am at foot of flag pole

Leaving the Bucksnort we drove back to Pine and had a very nice lunch at Zoka’s Restaurant and Bar.

Zoka's restaurant.  I am on K-rad's arm

Zoka’s restaurant. I am on K-rad’s arm

Zoka’s is family owned and has a large deck also.  And, Zoka’s is open 7 days a week.  We all had the pork sandwich.   It is house smoked and has hwy 126 BBQ sauce.  It is usually served with cole slaw on top, but we wanted the cole slaw on the side.  Then we could choose French fries, cole slaw or purple potato salad.  We had French fries.  It was delicious!

Going to Zoka's.  I am hungry!

Going to Zoka’s. I am hungry!

Pine is a pretty town with the river and surrounding mountains.  I want to come back here!  And, each of these restaurants allows well-behaved dogs on the patios.  If they like dogs, they must like ducks too.  We are coming back.

We left Pine, drove to highway 285 and south toward Kenosha Pass.  In Colorado we have lots of aspen trees and this time of year (autumn) the leaves turn red for a very short time and then a beautiful gold.  The leaves are rather small and turn and shimmer in the wind.  I love the quaking aspen.  They look so pretty on the side of a mountain, with green pine trees and Colorado’s bright blue sky.  Of course, I love yellow—it is my color!  Kenosha Pass is famous for its aspen trees and gold leaves in the fall.  Can’t wait to see it.  Hope this is the right week for us to be here.

These photos were taken as we approached Kenosha Pass.

Golden aspen leaves

Golden aspen leaves

More gold aspen

More gold aspen

Here is one at the pass.  It shows so many aspen trees on the side of this mountain.

Many aspen and many tourists

Many aspen and many tourists

Then we went over Kenosha Pass to South Park and into the town of Jefferson.  At Jefferson we saw our only bear,

This bear I like

This bear I like

and it was at Jefferson Real Estate, Inc.  Mom said we didn’t really want to see a bear today.  I can agree with that.

I hope you will check out Colorado’s aspen trees in the next few days.  They are beautiful.  I think we will go to another place for more leave watching.  I will let you know.  Even if the leaves are not gold, go to Pine for lunch.  For information visit www.thebucksnortsaloon.com and www.zokas.com.   See you soon for food and beverages.