This isn’t Vermont, New Hampshire, or Northern Michigan. It’s not Aspen, Park City, or Pagosa Springs. It’s San Diego — land of palm trees, birds of paradise, and plumeria, but we get autumn too. I’ve been thinking about that lately — about how lovely our autumn foliage can be, and currently is.
The foliage here is sparse — there aren’t hillsides packed with color and loaded with vibrance as there are in New England, nor is there a tourist industry built around it that tramples towns like Aspen, Nederland, and Pagosa Springs. Our foliage is modest and doesn’t boast, but has a beauty and a contrast unique to our region.
Our fall colors are intermingled among the growth on our semi-arid hills — pockets of color in the chaparral, separate and distinct from what surrounds them. Our trees grow best in low-lying areas — where the water runs, when it runs.
It’s not the kind of foliage that would make for a destination or trip. I can’t imagine anyone boarding a plane to tour the poplar trees of North County. That said, and perhaps because we don’t get as much as other parts of the country, we appreciate it more. I know I do.
Taking it all in, at bicycle speed, feeling the breezes that make the leaves shimmer, and to see the warm colors backlit by the low autumn sun, and all the while able to smell fresh air pushed east from the coast — that’s the best way I know to see it.
I was born and spent my early years in New England, where autumn foliage is an industry. I grew up in Colorado, were the most decadent town in the country, Aspen, is named for the trees that first brought the masses there in the late 1960s. I’ve been in San Diego’s North County for 22-years now. I enjoy autumn here more than New England or Colorado.
And if we’re lucky, and if the leaves survive the Santa Ana winds, the pacific storms, and the fires of autumn, the foliage of San Diego can last for months. And if you think I’m a fool to compare autumn in San Diego with autumn in Vermont or Northern Michigan, our autumn begins in November and usually lasts through February. Take that, Kenosha Pass.
This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb
This week by the numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 6
Mph Avg: 15.8
Seat Time: 09 hours 35 minutes
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there’s this from Savoy Brown. Enjoy…