It seemed like a good time for a Road Trip. Columbus Day is the holiday that no one can seem to figure out, unless you live in New England. Cars get packed with fall gear as we say good-bye to the City and head to see the magical transformation of The Leaves.
So in the early hours after dawn we climbed into our car and whisked silently into the new light of day. After several hours the sun rose in the sky, lighting our way as we passed under the gates of Boston. It did not take long for splashes of color to appear. As we sped quietly ever up into the hills and finally into Vermont, first one tree, then five, then entire hillsides looked on fire, the flames of color shining against the warmth of the sun. Mists rose eerily from a warm spring traveling down a hillside leaving ghost clouds clinging to tree tops like steam rising from a cauldron. Fire on the mountain, but the flames are only color of every warm hue, dashed out of the paintbrush of some frantic painter in a hurry to use each one. When you drive to the mountains, you see, no feel, a shift in life’s balance. Life has an entirely different meaning and direction where there are no buildings to block out the light.
As we arrived at our desitination, not only the color but other sensations of the season took over. With the cooler temperatures we put on warm sweaters and scarves and wandered through the Saturday Market in the town square. Every booth full to overflowing with the harvest of a rainy, plenty summer. We had to get Maple Syrup.
The town streets, full of piled leaves that made a musical crunch underfoot, were steep and walking in the snappy autumn air made us hungry. We headed to Town Centre with a wonderful street jammed full of shops and artisans. Of course we found apples, it is fall after all, but these babies were lined up like models for a runway show, waiting for their dressing.
Believe me they looked gorgeous after the boys got through with them. So after flirting until they handed over the samples of chocolate fudge, we went to the local diner; Henry’s, waited in line till we thought we would pass out, and finally got the coveted counter seats. Henry was making breakfast all day and everybody who knew anything went there. We ordered (way too much) and cosily ate elbow to elbow with the best of them. At least we have breakfast for tomorrow!
Walking back was a storybook of houses that have been lived in for a gazillion years. They were made for this kind of season and only took a pumpkin or two to look decked out. Down at the waterfront of Lake Champlain even the sunset knew to cast a golden hue on the few boats still tethered to the docks.
Too soon it was time to make the return trip home but not without a stop at Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Stowe and a visit to a local farm stand for an apple or two. Farmer Dan, in his farmer duds and mud boots kindly poured us cups of apple cider as we paid for the bulging bags of Empires. “Makin’ pies?” he asked. “My wife only uses the Empires for pies, says they’re the best, but I like eating them,” he winked. Life is simple here.