Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
Today’s 90-Second Escape: In Search of Fall
Come the first week of August, especially after a summer of record-setting heat, we’re generally eager for signs of fall. Sometimes you don’t have to look far: a sourwood leaf going crimson early, a surprisingly cool breeze passing through the woods. Other times, you need to be a bit more observant.
Sunday morning, encouraged by a brilliant blue sky flecked with billowy white clouds — the kind of sky you might expect on an October day — I went in search of an early fall at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. Did I find it? Watch closely and judge for yourself.
“I can’t believe we haven’t seen anyone,” Krista said midway into our 15-mile hike.
“I wonder what Umstead’s like right now?” Amy wondered. “Probably bumper-to-bumper people.”
Probably, considering: 1) It was the second weekend in October and the first true weekend of fall color in the Piedmont, 2) It was a Saturday afternoon, 3) There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, 4) The temperature was struggling to get out of the 60s.
In short, it was a perfect fall day. The kind of day where it occurs to everyone to go for a hike, and it occurs to everyone to go to the same places. To Umstead State Park in Raleigh, to Hanging Rock and Pilot Mountain state parks in the Triad, to Crowders Mountain near Charlotte.
The Crowders Mountain Web site offers this warning front and center on its home page: “Expect parking delays on nice fall weekends.”
Which isn’t to say you should hide at home and experience fall through silde shows such as the one above. If you know where to go — like Amy and Krista did — you can experience the magnificence of fall in magnificent solitude.
Wednesday evening, three of my Ultimate Hikers and I met for a hike under the headlamps. It was a little after 7 p.m. as we gathered at the trailhead. Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones gathering.
“I think it’s staying to the west of us,” Robert optimistically offered.
Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease this trying transition, we’re running a new feature every Monday called 90 Second Escape. Essentially, it’s a 90-second video of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s in the sun.
Traditionally in hiking circles (my hiking circle, at least), Labor Day marks the end of summer and the start of the fall hiking season. It may technically still be summer (fall doesn’t officially arrive until 5:05 a.m. on September 23) and the temperatures may not typically drop noticeably (though they will this week) but in our minds, it’s fall. School is in, football has started — lace up the Vasques and let’s go.