The leaves are turning. A look out the window tells us it was time for a fall foliage drive. A drive with no particular place to go. A G.T.I drive.
We open a “King of the Road” map. Places like Tombstone sounded good, considering its the end of October. In the end we decided to ditch the map, it didn’t really tell us what we wanted to know. You know, things like “Turn here, this road has glorious trees planted on both sides forming a canopy of color!” Or perhaps, “This way to an old red faded barn” or “That way to a beautiful stream with the leaves twirling around.” No, maps are not much use when you’re driving to those places.
We drive down roads that start with the word “Old”, which is usually a good indicator of the type of road we have in mind. Old Schoolhouse Road and Old Mehama Road are just what we’re looking for; long and winding, meandering, moss on the sides, farms, fields, animals, and beautiful vistas. Perhaps we’ll find the unexpected. We turn down Old Mehama Road and it has everything we hoped for.
Old Mehama Road meanders and has beautiful fall colors everywhere we look; greens, golds, brilliant reds, russets and oranges. We stop the car and get out to examine some old, gnarled apple trees and what remains of an old homestead site. Standing there we see a huge wasp’s nest in a nearby oak. Across the road is a bank filled with lush green ferns and bracken, next to them is an ant hill about 2 ft across.
It’s cold and I start to shiver, time to get back in the car. The drive continues. Through small towns, past many fields in various shades of rich, chocolate browns through velvety greens. Past pumpkin fields, (Buy your Pumpkin Here), past garden nurseries with the droopy trees out front, past the now closed farm produce stands. We’ve reached the end of this road, it dead-ends on us. Time to turn around, back track, find another lovely road to drive on.
We ended up back near the freeway, and we don’t want to go there, so we turn around and try another direction. And we’re glad we did, because we come across a large field where we see two herons, just standing there! The sun is starting to fade to dusk and the herons are outlined in the fading light, just standing there, quite still in the field.
A look through the binoculars shows us that the herons are not alone…a cat is slinking through the grass, stalking them. Right after that we also spy a hawk in silhouette against the darkening sky. Quite content with our day’s drive now, we begin turning towards home. Oh good, the ferry is open, we’ll cross the river instead of the highway. A ferry crossing is the perfect way to end the day.