Life in New England is a mirage of seasons. This time around it is fall at its peak. Many a leaves have turned a brightly yellow and others a fiery red. My route to work through the US-3 is a splash of yellow, red, orange and green, distracting the drivers’ eye. The colors bring a whiff of chilliness with them that sets in – as the early morning frost on the car, over the warmth of a hoodie on my skin, in the errant afternoon breeze, on a sunny day brazen with dropped temperature.
The weekend past, we drove northwards to White Mountains that are supposedly painted the best during this time of the year. It was a mission to hike in the comforting cold air and gather as many wallpaper pictures as could be. We began our trail at the polar caves . The polar being a misnomer, this place houses a gamut of rock formations, daring one to walk, crawl and adventure through the enclosed passages. Some of the narrowest of paths were aptly named as ‘fat man’s misery’ or ‘lemon squeeze’. With a few bumps from low rocks and out of breath walking steeply curbs, we had spent a good part of the morning hours enjoying the caves encompassed in a fall colored forest.
The next stop was the flume gorge , hosting a 2 mile trail through a ravine as the name suggests. This natural chasm is traversed through the gravel path and wooden bridges lining the long stretch of gurgling waters. Not only is the path steeply with many ups and downs, it also glimpses over the surrounding hills laden with canopies of beautiful red, yellow,orange and crimson. It was indeed a difficult hike, owing to our grumbling stomachs midday. But the picturestique falls and naturally dyed ambience were a treat to remember.
An imperative refueling over Chinese food and later, we had less than two hours before sunset to make it to our next destination. The loon mountains otherwise a popular ski spot during winters, offers skyrides to get that much sought after aerial view of the mountain ranges. As the ten minute ride climbed atop, we were on the last leg of photo taking, leaning towards saturation. In the wee hours of dusk, the cold was prickly and the elevation only made it worse. Doused with over zealous spirit from the rest of the day and dew settling in, we had called it a day to retire.
As I drove back, against the setting sunlight and wonderful chill, I was glad for catching a peek of fall at its best and not making it a reminder of harsh winter days to come, but of foliage unmatched!