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Denver

Aspens Y'all

Lana Hawk

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I met up with some friends in Buena Vista for a weekend away. Lucky for us, our timing couldn’t be more perfect because the Aspens were in all their golden glory. Fall is my favorite season for a lot of reasons, but the fall colors are really what make my heart flutter. Not to mention, the crisp fall air and the fall blue skies. Brilliant. Plus, the Aspens are just fascinating. You can look over the mountain and see an endless sea of evergreens with these bright, vibrant pockets of golden Aspens. They are the only tree that high up that has leaves that change, creating this polka-dotted landscape. Again, brilliant.

We hiked Mount Yale, explored Buena Vista, took a dip in the Mount Princeton Hot Springs, hiked to Windsor Lake just outside of Leadville, and spent plenty of time unplugged around the campfire. The majority of my past camping experience is from my college (and some post-college) summers spent as a camp counselor at Kanakuk. I spent many a night and day on the river canoeing with a bunch of 11-13 year olds in the hot Missouri summer. Not ALWAYS ideal. It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but this whole Colorado camping in the fall thing is another story. Cool, crisp and quiet evenings and mornings, and the fall colors.

Both Buena Vista and Leadville are just outside of Denver (about an hour and a half to BV) and both provide a glimpse into the world of a small mountain town. So many people just experience the ski resorts of Colorado and they don’t do justice to the mountain town life. So, if you get a chance, grab your car and go beyond the touristy Colorado and explore these little gems.

If you find yourself in Colorado, Cottonwood Pass outside of Buena Vista in October is a FANTASTIC idea. Also, how about that beard on the hubs in the picture below? Pretty unbelievable, right?

**This post originally appeared on Old Pink House in September 2015