Posts Tagged ‘fall colors’

A 2015 road trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon to see aspens in the fall. — Photo by Pat Bean

“You can’t travel the back roads very long without discovering a multitude of gentle people doing good for others with no expectation of gain or recognition.  The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.: — Charles Kuralt. 

A fall hike in Maine’s Scarborough Marsh. — Photo by Pat Bean

A Break from the Chaos

Fall along Texas’ Gulf Coast. — Photo by Pat Bean

I don’t know about you, but I need a break from hearing people being unkind and downright nasty to each other. I’m tired of people who are rudely unaccepting of anyone or anything that is different from them or theirs.

I don’t expect everyone to think the way I think, or the way you think, but that doesn’t mean we can’t at least be civil to one another. Being different or thinking different is not a crime.

I think I need to take a back road road trip to remind me of all the good people in this world. And what better time of year to do it than in autumn, when Mother Nature showers the vistas with color.

Anyone want to join me?

Colorado’s Cumbres Pass in the autumn. — Photo by Pat Bean

Bean Pat: Breezes at  Dawn https://breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/a-monday-meander-surprise-adventures/ Another blogger who likes to wander.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Fall at Idaho’s Lake Walcott State Park. — Photo by Pat Bean



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“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir. We must rise and follow her. When from every hill of flame, she calls and calls each vagabond by name.” — William Bliss Carman

Autumn color in my son Lewis' Texas Gulf Coast front yard. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Autumn color in my son Lewis’ Texas Gulf Coast front yard. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” – Humbert Wolfe

Road Trip Fever

            October is my favorite month of the year. I thought about this while I drank my cream-laced coffee this morning and looked out over the Catalina Foothills from my third-floor balcony.

I slept in until after seven, and so the sun had already crept down the mountain, bathing Mount Lemon and the valley with a warm glow while a brisk October breeze brought the feel and scent of desert freshness, after two days of on and off again showers, to my body and nose. It felt and smelled delicious. From my viewpoint, the valley was dominated by a rustling green sea of tree tops, their verdant hues enhanced by the monsoon rains that visit the Sonoran Desert.

And the color of October in Maine's Scarborough Marsh.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

And the color of October in Maine’s Scarborough Marsh. — Photo by Pat Bean


But elsewhere, in higher climes, the aspen trees are turning golden, the maple leaves are burning with fire, and the forests are wearing coats woven of lemon yellows, apple reds, pumpkin oranges and plum purples.

Such splendor calls to my heart. I especially want to see the sun-illuminated glow of aspen leaves as they wink to me in the wind. I’ve got road fever.

So o-dark-hundred tomorrow, I am heading to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on a route that will take me through some of this country’s most scenic landscapes, which hopefully will be lit up with the colors of autumn.

It will just be me and my canine companion, Pepper. And that’s my favorite way to travel. I’ll tell you all about my trip in upcoming blogs. So stay tuned.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: Dreaming in all the right ways http://tinyurl.com/ph982gs Give somebody a hug today, for me.

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Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.” – May Sarton

Linn Cove Viaduct — Wikipedia photo

Adventures with Pepper: Days 35-36

One of the best things about the Blue Ridge Parkway is that it’s totally decommercialized, which means if you need gas you have to exit the parkway.

I found the rock walls along the parkway just as fascinating as the more spectacular autumn views at overlooks. — Photo by Pat Bean

I needed gas, and according to my maps, Linville, North Carolina was where I needed to get it. Right before I got there I crossed the Linn Cove Viaduct, a 1,243-foot bridge that snakes around Grandfather Mountain. It was completed in 1987 at a cost of $10 million and was the last section of the parkway to be finished.            As I was crossing it, I thought how nice it was for a change not to be going up and down ridges for a little bit. The thought turned out to be cause for laughter almost as soon as I got across the bridge. Linville was in the hollow at the bottom of the bridge crossing.

Some times Mother Nature makes words seem inadequate. — Photo by Pat Bean

So down I went, and then back up again to continue my slow, winding, uphill-downhill journey on the parkway.            I would spend the next five hours driving just about 100 miles. While the parkway speed is 35-45 mph, most of the time that’s way too fast for road conditions . And then of course there were the overlooks and Mother’s Nature’s wonders around every bend in the road that needed to be explored on foot.

I spent the night and all the next day at a small, but friendly, RV park just off the parkway in Ashville, North Carolina. It was a welcome break for all that uphill and downhill-ness, even if I had enjoyed every moment of it.

Book Report: Nada. Too busy with other projects. Somehow I’m going to have to push Travels with Maggie back up to the top of my priority list.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: A Silk Road Forest http://tinyurl.com/b82opv8 I thought this arm-chair travel blog was a nice contrast to the forests I was driving through.

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Layers and layers of colors ending in blue. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.”
—Carol Pearson

Adventures with Pepper: Day 29

The wildflower season along Skyline Trail had ended, but their were still a few flowers, like this small beauty with drops of rain still coating its leaves, to be seen. — Photo by Pat Bean

While the rain had stopped, the morning was still overcast. It was going to be a dreary drive through Shenandoah National Park, I thought.

But then Mother Nature took pity on me. I had just barely started my day’s drive down the park’s 105-mile Skyline Trail when the sun came out and bathed the landscape with its light.

Rain drops on leaves glistened in the sunlight and the passing foliage took on a warm glow.

The leaves of the maples, oaks, elms, beeches, aspens and many others, were a variegated palette of color. They reminded me of the mixed-color yarn my mother often used in making afghans. If she were using Mother Nature’s half-summer/half-autumn colors this day, her crocheted blankets would range in hues from green to lemon yellow with shades of orange, plum and scarlet in between.

Rag Mountain framed by an old dead tree I found interesting. — Photo by Pat Bean

Shenandoah National Park is a long, narrow mixture of lands and forests woven together in a landscape protected for both its beauty and its wildness. Its Skyline Trail is a narrow, winding, hilly road with a 35 mph speed limit designed as the way for people in cars to enjoy it.

With 75 overlooks – I know I stopped at least half of them – and inviting trails leading away from the smell of the road,  Pepper and I found many reasons to at least briefly abandon Gypsy Lee, out home on wheels. .

It took me over seven hours to get through the park.  It would have been longer if I hadn’t have wanted to get off the road and Gypsy Lee hooked up to civilization before dark.

Book Report: Just to keep it moving forward, I added another few words, bringing Travels with Maggie up to 56,103. I think for the next two weeks, until I get off the road for a bit, the book is truly going to be moving at a snail’s pace. I have writing commitments for Story Circle Network of which I’m a board member and other priorities this coming week, plus other priorities on this current journey. I hope I’m not just making excuses.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day

Bean’s Pat: Unusual Travel Tradition http://tinyurl.com/9f3amqx This blogger sees the funny side of travel. A new find for me.

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Fall in Colorado's San Juan National Forest -- Photo by Pat Bean

“If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.” — Nadine Stair

Travels With Maggie

I thought I knew what route I wanted to drive today, but the travel gods knew differently.

Outside of Chama, New Mexico, I zigged instead of zagged. Never have I been more delighted for my lack of a sense of direction.

I had been at this same intersection several times before, but always when I was headed to Santa Fe. This time I planned to pass through Taos– so it just seemed logical that I would turn left instead of right. Perhaps I was distracted by that magical moment of sunrise that was happening when I reached the fork in the road. That fraction of a second when the world goes from a quiet gray that hides all details to a glowing glow that brings the world to life is my favorite part of any day. I don’t experience this moment often so when I do, I absorb it fully.

Cumbres and Toltec Railroad engine warming up at the summit -- Photo by Pat bean

Up where the air is thin.

For whatever reason, however, I didn’t notice my mistake until a road marker told me I was crossing back into Colorado. By this time I was driving through a landscape so fantastic that there was no way I would have turned around, even if it meant adding 200 miles to the trip.

In reality, it only made my day’s drive 19 miles longer. My error had put me on Highway 17 instead of Highway 64, and took me on a northern instead of a southern loop to Taos. My mistake took me high into the San Juan National Forest and over the 10,000-foot-plus Cumbres and Conejos passes.

At the top of Cumbres Pass, a Cumbres and Toltec Railroad engine was warming up for one of its scenic tourist expeditions that begin in Chama. I would have stopped to explore the train museum in Chama except it hadn’t yet opened when I passed through the rustic town. Seeing the engine here, with smoke churning from its stack as it sat on the narrow guage tracks, made up for that. Before catering to tourists, trains ran through this beautiful landscape to serve the area’s silver mines.

A view from Cumbres Pass -- Photo by Pat Bean

The best part of my day, however, were the golden mountain sides. Autumn was in full bloom – and I knew I was fortunate to get to see it because I was headed to Texas where fall is mostly a matter of leaves turning brown and falling off the trees. Of course there are exceptions, but nothing as vast and brilliant as what I was seeing this day.

By the time I got to Taos, which was late in the afternoon because I lingered so long in the high forest, I abhorred its trendy and crowded atmosphere and drove through without stopping. Mother Nature had fulfilled all my sight-seeing needs this day.

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