Missing the fall aspens — literally!

"Autumn Reach" was just one of the gorgeous prints created during my 2019 trip to Colorado.

Reminiscing about my first Colorado road Trip

My wife and I are headed back to Colorado later this weekend, and we were really looking forward to spending time among the golden aspens of fall — but it looks like we'll be too late this year!A buddy sent word last week that the aspens had peaked in Southern Colorado's San Juan National Forest, where we will be by the end of the month.

That means when we arrive in the northern reaches of Colorado the gold surely will have faded.It was disappointing to hear, but it got me thinking about our 2019 visit to that wonderful state.

We arrived that October day to find the aspens fully clothed in golden leaves, and for a week we marveled at the beauty!

Our home base was in a cabin tucked along the banks of the Rio Grande River in South Fork, just south of Creede. It was so picturesque, and the mountainsides were covered with golden aspens.

More than I every imagined

Our first trip into the mountains was just mind blowing. Everywhere we looked was covered with aspens that had leaves the color of pure gold.

I had seen photos of aspens during fall, but nothing prepared me for just how gorgeous those trees can be. It was simply more than I ever imagined.

There were two other photographers on the trip, and we were soon prowling through the groves shooting the aspens.

We spent the week driving around the region, covering everything from the Great Sand Dunes National Park to the east Pagosa Springs to the west and as far north as Lake City.

And every view took our collective breath away.

The panoramic views of the aspen-draped mountains filled me with a sense of awe.

To be honest, I think the trip spoiled me because the timing couldn't have been more perfect. Our host, a Houston friend who owns the cabin in which we stayed, told us that he had never seen the aspens as beautiful — and he's owned the cabin for years.

I finally turned to my wife and told her I understood why some people visit Colorado and then move to the beautiful state.

I don't know if I'll ever see the aspens as fully colored as during that first trip. But the entire experience sparked a lasting love of Colorado.

"Aspen Carpet" was one of the first prints created during my introduction to Colorado.