As fortune would have it, both Theresa and I were in Colorado for work, and it lined up perfectly with the peak viewing time of the Aspens changing colors.
Just a short 1 hour drive, Mueller State Park offered some great opportunities to see some beautiful trees. We were on the road before sunrise and made it up into the mountains with minutes to spare before the sun peaked over the horizon.
And it doesn't matter how early I get up and leave the house, my Dad is always up a little earlier to make sure I have a hot breakfast. And the traditional breakfast is always the same too. Scrambled eggs mixed with sausage. Delicious.
That's not coffee in that cup either. One of my favorite holiday drinks is a spiced tea from my Grandma's recipe. My Mom made a batch the day before for Theresa and I to enjoy on our trip.
At 7am the road to the park was open, but there were no rangers manning the entrance. Theresa and I hit the self-service booth to grab a $7 permit and continued our drive. The sun is just starting to peek over the top of the mountains, setting the colors on some of these trees ablaze.
To get in the right mood, I pulled up my John Denver playlist and together Theresa and I listened and sang along with the perfect style music to be in the mountains with.
The visitors center opens at 9am, but we're way too early for that. Actually we haven't seen anyone else all morning.
Theresa really loves her leaves, clapping her hands and skipping from grove to grove. I would drive down the street and be told to "pull over here!" so she could take photos.
As we drove along, a herd of deer ran across the road. I crept up on them in the car as Theresa took photos from the window.
Even though the temperature was in the low 40s, we walked around looking for pretty spots to take photos.
As we rolled up to a hiking trail, the car spooked a good size buck. Theresa happened to catch him on video as he jumped over a fence and took off for the meadow.
By the time I got the car parked, he was down near the tree-line, but you can still see him looking back at us.
These trees couldn't decide what they wanted. Still a little green, transitioning to golden, and turning fiery red on top.
Beautiful fall colors.
There's one tree we encountered on the way out that appears to be an aspen interwoven with a pine tree. Definitely an interesting effect when the aspen changes colors.
And because every great trip involves some element of food, The Donut Mill in Woodland Park was a definite stop.
Ooh, what is that? A tasty apple empanada. Yes please.
Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts. Oh yeah, they do have tasty biscuits and gravy here too.
Staring at me from the top of the case was the biggest cinnamon roll I have ever seen. When I asked for one, he asked if I wanted extra frosting on top. Uh... yes please.
Oh my this thing is enormous. And it was tasty too! The insides reminded me more of a light cake with swirls of cinnamon, than a dense cinnamon roll. Combined with the delicious frosting on top this was great! And only $6.50 if I remember the menu-board correctly.
And I couldn't get away without an order of their fabulous Biscuits and Gravy. The biscuits themselves are great, but combined with the peppery sausage gravy it's even better. This was a great stop.
It's always fun going to see the changing leaves and this year was no exception.