Monday, October 22, 2007

On Falling

I feel like we are living in the middle of a postcard. "Fall in New England" sounds more like an event to me than the autumn season everyone else experiences. Even as I drive Peanut to her playcare, we cruise down a winding community road lined with low walls of stones stacked a foot high to mark yards. The yards behind them now complete for my attention with leaves of all those autumn shades - some which I feel I've never seen before even though I've certainly seen leaves change color all my life!

Indeed, it is a beautiful time.

We took our leaf "peeping" (yes, the official term) tour through New Hampshire and Vermont the other weekend. Our route followed I-93 North cutting through the White Mountains into northern Vermont before heading east towards Lake Champlain. I was stunned by the scenes in the White Mountains. We were dwarfed by the range and in awe of the puffs of trees as far as we could see. As you looked across the evlevations, you could see the various stages of fall all at once. The highest trees were already showing their skeletons while on the lowest level some held on tightly to green leaves.

Vermont seemed to have a ban on roadside billboards and unneccessary signage which all added to its decidely rural appereance. I expected moose, deer (which I spotted several of) and other wildlife to jump across the road at any moment. Many of the northern towns seemed uncomfortable without the blanket of snow soon arriving; kind of like a teenage girl out in her bikini for the first time on a beach. Somehow I sensed that the whiteness and ice would make the places more complete - not neccessarily in a serene, holiday way, but in the way that snow fills in the gaps, covers the unsightly.

We spent the night at the cozy Black Bear Inn where we comfortably settled into a 'superior suite' so Peanut and Tex could go to bed early and sleep peacefully in their own room while mama and papa relaxed in our own space. The restaurant was extra accomodating for the needs of little ones even though we appeared to be the only guests in the 'under 60' demographic. Perhaps Leaf Peeping isn't such an extreme sport and doesn't draw the young crowds? It was a perfect event for us - most of the sights could be enjoyed from our car where everyone was comfortably strapped in :-)

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