Growing up outside Chicago always meant fall seasons full of vibrant color, but when I moved to Southern California, that Midwest robustness just wasn't there (plus: jumping into piles of leaves are a lot more fun than ones of palm fronds dropped by Santa Ana winds). And while there was some color on imported trees like the fall-intensive Chinese Pistache, that wonder of walking down a street dotted with yellow, orange, and red was lost -- or so I thought.
"I'm blown away that people say there's no fall color in California," John Poimiroo told me last year when I interviewed about the subject (The 7 Best Spots for Fall Color in California). I was personally blown away that we had so much fall color, even at places I had visited -- just not at the right time of the year.
Poimiroo runs the blog California Fall Color, and after a season of following his posts, I decided to plan a leaf peeping trip to Mono County this past October. I didn't make it during peak color -- that takes having the flexibility to react to his "Go Now" alerts -- but it was pretty close and I had a blast.
The fall color season is now over and Poimiroo on Thursday posted his year in review video (watch it above). If the video or a few of my photos below make you yearn to experience some of the best fall color out there, I recommend you do. My experience this fall was memorable and I plan to make it part of my annual fall travels from now on.