Writers often use overblown superlatives, especially when they are enthusiastic about their subject. My husband and I agree, though, that last November’s drives down Deer Creek Canyon were nothing less than spectacular. Was it the lateness of all the seasons last year? Was it the combination of unseasonably warm and cold days this Fall? Whatever the natural causes, it was undeniably one of the best years for Autumn color both in the high Sierra and the lower elevations.
The fog was still waiting for us as we turned the corner from Highway 36 to Highway 32. We had already seen some color on 36. Westwood leaves have either fallen, or are still in the last process; but Chester was aglow through the fog in reds, oranges, and yellows. The contrast, as we headed down Deer Creek, was incredible. The sheer number of trees and bushes in full color was almost overwhelming. The clarity of the bright trees against the dark evergreens “made” the picture. When we arrived on the hill overlooking Chico, we were amazed once again by the vista dotted with color over miles of city landscape.
Shooting video and photos from inside the moving car and on frequent stops added memories to the trip, and allowed the driver to participate more fully in the experience. Thanking God for the beauty He had shown us was the final touch in making this experience a highlight of the visual year.