- Breakfast in Georgetown, CO
- Foliage through Leadville and Buena Vista
- Where to find GREAT coffee in Buena Vista
Fall Foliage Foray Failure
A Foliage Ride Through Colorado That Did Not Go As Planned But Still Was a Lot of Laughs
One of the things we really enjoy doing is getting into the truck with the dogs and heading out to enjoy the stunning scenery in Colorado. If they think we might be going somewhere, both dogs will hang-out so near to us or the truck that they are a nuisance! The fun of herding dogs…they herd you so closely you cannot make a move without them.
We started out our day underprepared but excited. Normally we would have taken a little more time to get our act together but on this particular morning the crew renovating our kitchen showed up quite a bit earlier than we expected. That meant we had no chance to cook breakfast and the dogs started freaking out about the noise. So, we set off anyway and decided to grab some breakfast closer to our destination.
This ride was planned to be about 3 – 4 hours, because it was the first lengthy ride we were planning since Martha’s four spine related surgeries since October of 2017, two of which were in the prior 4 months. We estimated 4 hours would be the max bearable, and that this ride would take about 3.
Our destination was Guanella Pass. The Pass is in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, west of Denver and south of Georgetown. The pass links Highway 285 to the south and Interstate 70 to the north, and the whole thing is paved. We had heard from friends that the foliage was looking great and that the ride was gorgeous.
We had a really nice ride out to Georgetown. There was some work-day traffic but it wasn’t too terrible. As we began to get hungry, we saw the first sign for Guanella Pass and decided to stop in historic Georgetown for breakfast. We chose the top-Yelp-rated restaurant to eat breakfast. We had seen a suspicious sign that stated the Pass was closed on weekdays but decided that couldn’t be true. While at the restaurant, though, we learned it was indeed true. No Guanella Pass for us that day.
So, we ordered breakfast (which turned out to be a pretty disappointing experience) and Kevin did some replanning of our route, deciding to go down toward Pueblo and Buena Vista and then back up through Colorado Springs and home again Not our original plan, but who cares?
We had a relatively pleasant ride to Leadville which is an elevation of 10,200 feet. Kevin thought the foliage and views along the way were beautiful but Martha unfortunately started a headache and nausea and “weird feeling” the higher we climbed and thus did not notice the foliage so much. That little bit of altitude sickness left as we descended a little bit until it disappeared entirely.
After stopping at rest area outside of Leadville for some exercise (necessary both us and the dogs) we continued on Route 24 to Buena Vista. . There is a great coffee shop there called Brown Dog Coffee so obviously we stopped! Martha’s time sitting was getting a little too extensive so instead of eating there we took them along for our next exercise break. Pro tip: their coffee is excellent and they ship it anywhere in the U.S. And if you’re interested, here’s our Yelp review.
We swung into the Antero Reservoir south shore, but it was actually pretty crowded and full of campers so we did not want to let the dogs out. It is gorgeous there, however, and we’ll return to camp at some point. We moved on to a wildlife vantage point for the snack (which was great!) then next stop Weston Pass visitor center for a view and rest stop.
After that, smooth sailing all the way home, without traffic or incident, and the construction noise was over by the time we got home…bonus! The only down side was the total length of the trip, which turned out to be about 6 hours instead of 3-4. The good news? Martha lived through that. But it wasn’t so pretty for the last hour and we’ll bear that in mind for next time.
Next trip together…camping at 8,400 feet in the Pike National Forest in two weeks. We’ll tell you how it goes! In the meantime, Kevin is visiting Massachusetts and there might be apples to talk about.