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My Introduction to the "Color Tour"

An Excursion to See Leaves Change Color You Say?

As stated in my bio, I am a lifelong inhabitant of the state of Michigan. I was a man in my late 30’s before I had even heard mention of “color tour.” For those who are not in the know, a color tour is a daily or even weekend excursion to travel to areas known for a large amount of color-changing trees. A diverse collection of trees is an incredible landscape to experience a color tour. I can’t tell you exactly when I learned of these excursions, but it was foreign to me when I found out there was a name for them.

A beautiful color-changing fall tree.

media by Jeff Clos


I believe my parents always referred to these as “Sunday Drives,” but at no time did they ever specify it was to focus our attention on the changing leaves. The folks would pile the family into a car, often with my Grandmother, and away we went. Our trips usually involved a couple of hours and generally ended up at a destination we could explore. I was perplexed to hear people planned weekend trips to view color-changing leaves.

Overhead view of a color-changing forest.

media by Jeff Clos

A few years back, these color-changing tours, as they were, hit extremely close to home. A friend of mine had a wedding planned, restaurant reservations were made, and rooms were booked. Imagine my friend’s surprise when they received a call from the hotel to say their reservations could not be honored. It turned out the hotel could make more money on that specific weekend in October with the promise of an influx of color touring spectators. It eventually worked out to their benefit to move to a less greedy hotel, but it was interesting to see the reach of the “color tour” was growing.

I kid my wife to this day whenever we leave the house and head somewhere during the fall season. Imagine, if you will, a massive amount of color-changing trees. Both she and I will bust out with our magical waving hand, turn our heads to one another and laughingly bellow out, “behold the color tour.” Don’t get me wrong, nature is beautiful in all of its glory, and early Fall is vibrant with color, but I think I will stick with my “Sunday Drives.”

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