Telluride is pure magic. It truly is. And our annual autumn visit to this stunning valley has become a tradition of sorts, commemorating our love of fall and our anniversary.
We have made the long 6 1/2 hour drive many times from Salt Lake City to Telluride, and the drive usually takes place in the dark for a large proportion due to our inability to start the trip until after 5 pm. The route is beautiful, especially in the fall. It weaves through canyons brimming with burgundy bushes, punctuated by splashes of ochre and honey. The road then straightens out for miles between towering plateaus. Eventually we make our way to Grand Junction, a lit reprieve from the darkness where unseen deer pose a threat. In the last few hours, we snake our way through the Colorado forests. And each year, it is at this moment that we crane our necks, hoping that the headlights on the aspens illuminate gold and not the pale green of unchanged leaves. And it never fails, as the next morning’s light graces the mountainside, we both squeal with delight at the autumnal hues.
We stayed at a charming canary Victorian home in the heart of Telluride, a mere block from the Main Street. It served as a romantic getaway and a perfect setting off point for our weekend of adventure. On Saturday, we began the drizzly grey morning at The Butcher and The Baker Café, hyped up on coffee, breakfast burritos, and anticipation. We then hit up my favorite spot in town, Between the Covers bookstore where I bought more than enough books. We later took the jeep road up to Bridal Veil Falls, a 365-foot waterfall at the end of the box canyon overlooking the town.
Afterwards, we snaked up the mountainside for miles to Last Dollar Road, the famous aspen lined dirt road connecting Telluride to Ridgeway. We ended the day at the romantic Rustico Ristorante, where we had our rehearsal dinner the year prior, reminiscing on our first anniversary over wine and pasta.
On Sunday, we had an early breakfast at Baked in Telluride, a quaint establishment with shelves and shelves of croissants, bagels, and sweets. Once our bellies were full of sugar, we drove up to Schmid Ranch, where we were married last year. Schmid Ranch is a family owned functioning cattle ranch located a little ways out of town. The aspen grove where we had our ceremony is at the uppermost part of the ranch, overlooking Wilson Peak with a 360-degree view of the mountains. It looked just as it did the year before; glittering gold aspens intermixed between conifers, a large meadow, and the most perfect log cabin. This place will always hold an ethereal beauty, bits of magic glimmering in the leaves.