As we left the desert and approached the alpine last Friday afternoon, neither of us were prepared for what we found. Labor Day in Western Colorado is synonymous with summer, and summer means heat. Lots and lots of dry heat.
So it was with considerable surprise that we rounded the first bend above Mesa Creek and were confronted with changing aspens. Not just one or two, but a solid third of the deciduous forest glowed yellow.
Late summer + early fall = "small".
Over the next few days we wondered at how dry these normally moist trails were, and ultimately deduced that the colors we camped, napped, and rode within were more drought related than fall related. Given that this landform sucks moisture out of the winter sky to the tune of more than 30' of snow between November and May, there wasn't much cause for concern about drought. Instead we marveled at fall colors weeks ahead of schedule, enjoyed cool temps and delicious breezes, and generally reset ourselves for the last month+ of summer down low.
Hope that you got up to something equally perspective enhancing.