Autumn road trip to Farmington, New Mexico

To kick things off here in the Travel and Locations category, here’s a quick report from our road trip down to the New Mexico last October. The primary objective was to photograph the annular eclipse on Oct 14 2023. To get there we had to drive some 400 miles to Farmington (our base - not exactly a tourist destination) where we staged ourselves a couple of days ahead of the eclipse itself.

We headed south west from Boulder, Colorado via the 285 down to the San Luis Valley, then the 160 west towards Pagosa Springs and Durango, before turning south again to Farmington.

On the outbound leg, an early winter storm was approaching from the north west, and we skirted it to the south. But it provided some very pretty views along the way. This is from the roadside a short way south of Fairplay:

Telephoto shot at 500mm on a full frame. I waited around 20 minutes for the Sun to find the group of aspen trees. It was :cold_face:.

Farther south along the Arkansas River valley near the turn off to the St. Elmo ghost town, @alison spotted a lovely scene off to the right, with blowing snow partly masking the Collegiate Peaks, and some glowing autumnal colours in the foreground:

We travelled over Wolf Creek Pass and were surprised to see so much colour still left - it’s usually completely done by October 12 in our prior experience. This was on the Pagosa Springs side of the pass:

After shooting the eclipse, we headed east across northern New Mexico to stay the night at Chama, a small quaint town that is at the end of the Cumbres-Toltec Scenic Railway. There’s a road that follows the rail line closely and brings you back into the San Luis vallley at Antonito. We’d never driven it before (one of the few roads in Colorado we hadn’t been along): it’s spectacular, and was still sporting some great colour:

We shot mostly off to the south of the road so the trees were backlit - it makes a huge difference, lending a beautiful glow to the leaves.

After crossing the pass, we were back in Colorado and headed home!

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What a great journey and lovely photos, amazing colour. Thanks.

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Thank you! Are you in NZ? If so, autumn is just around the corner, I guess. I’m jealous!

Yes, in NZ and yes summer is nearly over. looking forward to seeing the colours change here in the south island. Not quite the same as those Aspens though.

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