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Transcendent Fall

By Ann Driggers

It was a little tardy in its arrival but the gold rush has finally gone full bore in the mountains over the last couple of weeks. In the frenzy of immersing myself in as much of this glorious season as possible, I have vascilated between two wheels or two feet as my prefered mode of travel. On the bike I can travel further faster and see more quicker, perfect in the eveings after work. It doesn't get much better than shredding singletrack winding through an aspen forest as the fall colors streak by.

Most evenings I ride til sunset - the golden hour is on steroids during autumn and this year is proving to be a special one. 

And then last Friday the snow came. I stabled the bike, laced up my running shoes and headed out into a wintery world. I found the snow had made the fall even better than I could imagine. White on red, white on gold, white on green, and a backdrop of sky so blue it took my breath away. Fall became transcendent.

Yesterday I ran up Hunter Creek trail out of Aspen. The colors were insane. It was a good job there weren't too many people out since I alternated between breaking out into song and blubbing at the beauty of it all.

The trails were in good shape for running since I went fairly early so they were frozen, and the snow was but an inch or so deep. I *ran* for a couple of hours up to the head of the valley. (*Running is highly sporadic given it is regularly interspersed with rubbernecking, taking pics and yodeling.)

After such a glorious day I decided I needed a second helping of finter (fall-winter) trail running and headed out to Hay Park at the base of Mount Sopris.

 

It too was spectacular though there was significantly more snow.

Still it was so awesome running with yellow, orange and red aspens quaking above and their fallen leaves like gold coins scattered on the snow around my feet.

With the current forecast some of the trails will be drying out (though Hay Park I doubt will be one) and I plan on getting out on the bike again. The colors lower down are really coming on - cottonwoods are starting to blaze and the oakbrush is on fire. I'll be sure to report back on the next stage of our transcendent fall.

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