Enjoy the very last of the Fall colors but you better hurry
October 5, 2007
If you love the Great Outdoors (Gosh, who doesn’t!) and if you love the beauty of Mother Nature’s work, I have a suggestion that should be right up your alley.
This weekend, take the time to enjoy the spectacular, breathtaking displays of Fall colors in this area.
But don’t delay! The recent high winds have really been raising havoc with the leaves, and many of them are already on the ground.
In my personal opinion, Fall colors are highlighted by the leaves of the Quaking Aspen trees (my personal favorites), which magically transform from their normal summertime green into spectacular reds, yellows, oranges, etc.
If you would like to see the final colors of our 2007 leaves, here are two different locations:
1. Alpine County:
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You’ll have to travel a little ways, so plan to spend an enjoyable period of time and don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch.
I don’t know about you, but my picnic lunch would consist of cold fried chicken, cole slaw, French rolls, apple pie and a sugarless orange soda drink. Yum! Yum!
Remember to have a garbage bag for your trash. When you leave, leave only your footprints!
Be sure to take sweaters or jackets in the event the wind should come up, you’ll be at an elevation of 7,000+ feet. It can really get chilly in the blink of an eye.
And, last but most importantly, don’t forget your digital camera.
Then when you are ready to go, take a combination of U.S. 395, Nev. S.R. 88 and Calif. S.R. 88 to just past Woodfords, Calif.
The best locations for seeing the colors of the Quaking Aspen are:
A. Along S.R. 88 in Woodfords Canyon between Woodfords and Sorensen’s Resort at the edge of Hope Valley. Some spectacular colors can be seen along the west fork of the Carson River, especially as you get closer to Sorensen’s. This will probably be the best location this coming weekend.
B. The short area from Sorensen’s Resort to the junction of S.R. 89 (Pickett’s Junction) to Lake Tahoe. The “Quakies” in this area are gorgeous when the early morning or late afternoon sunlight is shining through their leaves. However, be advised that many of them are now past their peak.
C. In Hope Valley, on the right side of S.R. 88, just before reaching the Blue Lakes Turnoff. Just look for the parked vehicles and people walking along the roadway with cameras.
D. Just past the Blue Lakes Turnoff, as you travel uphill on a long straight section of S.R. 88. The right hand side is very colorful.
E. Where the dirt road to Crater Lake intersects S.R. 88. This road is exactly 1.8 miles past the Blue Lake Turnoff, as you drive toward Kit Carson Pass. Look for a small, paved road on your right that curves up a steep bank. Take that road and travel about 50 yards. You’ll cross a cattleguard and the paved road will become dirt.
Park anywhere you desire and then wander through the “Quakie” patches. This is my favorite location for enjoying a picnic lunch and for still and video shots of Fall colors with the mountains and blue sky in the background.
If you drive further up the dirt road toward Crater Lake, there will be more impressive colors but the road is very rocky and bumpy.
F. The Red Lake area, just before reaching Kit Carson Pass. The best colors are along the long straight-away just before reaching Red Lake or along the first several hundred yards of the dirt road that leads from Red Lake to Lost Lakes.
2. Carson City:
If you don’t want to drive out of town, this weekend, to enjoy the beauty of the Fall colors of Alpine County, then just stay home and enjoy them right here. There are spectacular colors currently in Carson City, and they can be seen just about anywhere you go.
For some of the best colors, take the time to walk, bike or drive such north/south streets as Curry, Nevada, Division, Minnesota, etc., or along such east-west streets as Fifth, King, Telegraph or Long, which are located in the older, western portion of Carson City.
At those locations, you’ll see the Fall colors of leaves on such trees and bushes as apple, cherry, cottonwood, elm, Hawthorne, lilac, maple, peach, pear, plum, etc.
As a bonus, take the time to enjoy the colors at the State Capital Grounds and the Legislative Mall, by leisurely strolling in those areas.
Whether you travel to Alpine County or remain in Carson City, enjoy those colors while you can, as the leaves are quickly dropping off the trees and bushes. Don’t delay!
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you what is most interesting about all of Don Q’s advice for enjoying Fall colors.
If he grins and says, “All of this great, free advice on going out this weekend and enjoying the Fall colors comes to you from someone who is color blind,” he could be one of my close friends.
Yep, it’s true! I’m color blind, but I still think the Fall colors are spectacular, especially the yellows.
• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal