|White Mountains, NH|
The week the roaming Kingdom Bloggers are writing about fall. As residents of the northern hemisphere, the warm days of summer are coming to a close; air conditioners switched off, fans packed in the attic, and days beckoning a walk among the hardwoods - yes, fall is nearly upon us.
I have traveled quite extensively over the years. I have racked up 42 US states along with about 40 national and state parks, as well as 13 countries - with more on my radar. For nearly 4 months in 1989 I drove across the US (and a bit in Canada and Mexico). It was one of those listless times in my life. I had an injury at work a few years earlier, ending my career as both a musician and a carpenter. I had spent 2 years just hanging on while I went to art school. In the midst I had a car accident which made it impossible to work at all. Finally, I received an insurance check, my doctor told me that I was lucky to be walking and gave me a clean bill of health.
|Cape Cod Light, MA|
All along my route I kept thinking. "if I find somewhere nice, we can just move there." As I shifted my Toyota Carolla into second gear, I felt a rush of adrenaline and headed north for the coast of Maine. I crossed the northern most ranges of the Appalachians, camped at Niagara Falls, and drove though the wine country on the shores of the Great Lakes.
It was still summer as I made my way west to the Badlands; led by the a bajillion Wall Drug signs along the way. The High Plains turned into the Rockies and soon we rounded the corner to Yellowstone National Park where we enjoyed a snow storm in early August.
North to Glacier National Park and Banff, and then west to the Olympic Peninsula via Hell's Canyon. In September I recorded the trek from Victoria, BC to Tijuana, Mexico taking in thousands of miles of Pacific Coast and the city of San Francisco.
Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville became a blur as our pace quickened and our homesickness grew... Skyline Drive was a brief respite in the dizzying array of the tens of thousands of Interstate exit signs we had passed under as we rolled along.
That night I got on my knees and thanked God for a safe trip (all 20,000 miles!), and for being home - for the sunshine, the salt air and the indescribable colors.
In a few short weeks, I will lay in bed having a morning cup of coffee with my wife, and out each one of the three windows in our bedroom, God will create a masterpiece among the maple trees.
Yes, fall is what makes New England home.