Friday, September 17, 2010

Simply Fall

The view from Friar's Nose During a Late Fall Hike in 2009.

Simple Fall Offerings

"Time flies" they often say.  It seems like just yesterday that summer started and today my son went to school for the first time.  School starting up, the "Atlantic International Balloon Fiesta," the end of fishing season, and the upcoming "Sussex Fish and Game: Hunting and Fishing Expo" are sure signs that fall is flying in fast.  I don't know of anyone who complains about the fall season.  It simply offers so much that is so simple.

Fall is that time when we can step back and take a small breather after numerous hectic summer getaways or projects.  It is that time when we can slow down before we hectically prepare and anticipate the long days of winter and the joyous holiday season. One exception might be a farmer, but even they are rewarded for their hard work in fall when they harvest their crops. 

For me the fall season is best seen from ridge tops where you can sit and look out over a large expanse of colorful, ever changing, tree tops.  A cool, crisp, breeze blowing across an exposed ridge is relaxing and I can't help but sit and ponder life and my next journey.  Some of these ridges are easy to get to, while others are a challenge, but all of them possess a rewarding, simple feeling of fall.  You can easily find a seat to slouch down in and write a song while geese fly by over head, as might happen at Aiton's Hill.

For a great many of us, we enjoy challenging ourselves while reaching a destination.  The ridge along the north side of Route 111 between Upperton and Hillsdale, rewards the adventurous types with a great view of the Hammond River valley and the Saddleback Range as they change from green hues to yellows, oranges, and reds.  The challenge is finding your way to the small rocky outcrops along this ridge.

If you wish to find something a bit easier to reach maybe a drive along the Gibbon Mountain Road is more your thing.  This drive is a photographer's thrill as it provides far reaching vistas and smaller charming scenery for those artistic types who love finding different angles.  As you drive the ridges of Keirstead Mountain you can strain your eyes on a clear day and still not see where the horizon meets the sky.  A map maker with sharp skills could likely map all the hills to the southeast past Poley Mountain.

Speaking of Poley Mountain, the ridge on the opposite side of Trout Creek, offers a wonderful challenge that rewards the participant with great views of the mixed forests of the Upper Trout Creek.  This is a great location for hikers to stretch their legs before the winter season slows down their wandering.  It is a great place to simply pray for a winter filled with more rewards, or to be thankful for this great place we live in.
"See you in the woods or on the water."

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