October 19, 2014

Leaf Peeping

Last Saturday morning, my family and I departed on a road trip that had been on our to-do list for many years -- a leaf peeping run to upstate NY. As we were loading our things into the trunk of the car at 9:00 AM, the rain was pouring rather heavily, but forecasts had said that the weather in the Catskills would clear up at around 11:00. With a leaf peeping adventure have such a small window of opportunity, we decided not to let the chance go by for another year. Unfortunately, the weather during our drive stayed wet, causing heavy traffic and turning what should have been a two-hour drive into more than 4. It was afternoon by the time we finally rolled into the entrance of Minnewaska State Park, though the rain had cleared out and the sky was fluctuating between periods of overcast and sun. We quickly changed into our hiking boots and stepped on to the trail that circles Minnewaska Lake. Here, our long ride in the car was well-rewarded. Our eyes were met with beautiful shades of browns, reds, oranges, greens, and mustard hues in all directions. I recall thinking that if I could pick up the landscape and pop it into my mouth, it would probably taste like butterscotch.

We stayed at the park for most of the afternoon until it started to get chilly out. Then we headed out to get dinner and to check into the Super 8 Hotel. Sunday would prove to be a much nicer day with clear blue skies and sun. After having our breakfast, we drove south to the Hudson Valley area and Bear Mountain State Park. It just so happened that the park was celebrating Octoberfest for the weekend and we ended up on a long line of cars to enter the park. The entire area surrounding Hessian Lake was set up like a huge bazaar with lots of vendors and food booths. It was a very fun atmosphere. Though, the thing that I enjoy most about Bear Mountain is the system of hiking trails that meander through the park. These paths include a walk through a zoo and several trailside museums dedicated to local geology, history, and wildlife. I really enjoyed viewing the mastodon bones. One can also take a long hike through the woods and over a footbridge to visit the ruins of Fort Montgomery, a Revolutionary War stronghold. In all, this was a fun trip and I was so happy to have finally gotten to see the changing foliage in upstate NY. A beautiful autumn journey...

"You make known to me
the path of life; you will fill me
with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures
at your right hand."

~Psalm 16:11