Sunday, September 26, 2021

Fall Color Trip

 His Lordship and I did a brief fall color loop midweek.  We found a little color, frigid temperatures and fun animal capers.

First stop was the haunted Hotel Boulderado.   His Lordship surprised me with the choice of accommodation knowing that I love a historic hotel. We dined at the elegant, all plant based "Leaf". 

Hotel Boulderado's room 302 and 304 are supposedly haunted.   A suicide that took place in 1924 is the most likely culprit.  Guest report disembodied voices, electrical disturbances and ghostly apparitions.
We stayed in the old wing in room 310.  The only disembodied voices we heard, however, were some hotel guest who engaged in a very loud conversation till midnight.  I forgot my earplugs.

The hotel has an incredible stain glass ceiling, a huge wooden staircase, a weird old elevator you can only ride with staff, a fun speakeasy bar in the basement, and a lot of period furnishings.

After Boulder, we camped at Horse Tooth Reservoir and were serenaded all night by a lonely great horned owl.  He called for hours.  Then a front moved in, the temperatures plunged into the 30's and it snowed on our tent.  

The following morning, we drove through the lovely Cache Le Poudre Canyon. The north end is still reeling Cameron Cone Fire last summer.  Our destination was Walden which did not disappoint.  There was a lovely fall color display at the State Forest State Park.

The Arapaho wildlife refuge is amazing.  We saw a badger and a coyote harassing a pronghorn herd - yes this partnership is a real thing.  The ponds were chock full of ducks, waders and shorebirds.  I tried out my picture taking device to convince e-bird that these white blobs really were red necked phalaropes but with less than spectacular results.

We wimped out and got a cabin.  Good thing too as temp when we woke up was 19 degrees. Ouch. 

Dropping south through amazing fall color, it all stopped when we hit the burn scar of the East Troublesome Fire.  It is really sad to think that someday Colorado will probably be just a series of burn scars due to man made climate change. It was a huge fire that left a lot of devastation in its wake.

At I-70 we hung out a little at the Idaho Springs cemetery.  I was looking for birds but in their absence, many gravestone caught my eye.

Our last night camping was at the Burning Bear Campsite along the Guanella Pass.  I think we got lucky as it was supposed to have closed but the camp host chose to stay a few extra weeks.  We had another cold night complete with owl serenade - this time a barn owl screeched well into the wee hours.   It sounded like someone was being slaughtered in the trees.  If you have never heard one it sounds like this:

The next morning, we headed home thus ending our little jaunt.  It was nice to get away, even for a few nights.


  1. Sounds like a great getaway! Except for the noisy neighbors and noisy owls. And the snow on your tent, of course. But otherwise -- delightful!

    1. It's all about that camping Colorado in the fall. It was fun.

  2. So you went from a nice warm hotel to camping in 30 degree weather? Hmmm Let me think about that and get back to you.

    1. I run hot and so does his Lordship. The hotel was sweltering and when we opened a window, the noise from those boring disembodied voices kept us awake. So 30 degrees is nice with a sleeping bag and a fiery furnace of a man. We did draw the line at 19 degrees though. I love tent camping.

  3. I love old hotels and The Boulderado looks wonderful! On the other hand, I can't sleep if I'm warm. Sounds like a great get-away, in spite of the sweltering hotel and screeching owl! :)

    1. The Boulderado is a fine hotel. And you can open the windows. As long as there is not a party below, you might get some sleep. Or just bring earplugs. I just forgot.