Friday, October 23, 2009

October 23, 2009 Post

What's New With Us - On The Road

Greetings from Crossville, Tennessee

We are on our way back to California. Next stop is Little Rock AR to visit friends for a few days. Then we will look at the weather map to decide whether we continue west on I-40 or travel south-west on I-30, I-20 and I-10. We are in no rush to get home but we have observed that, like a horse heading for the barn, we seem to move faster going west.

When we planned our trip to see New England’s fall colors we didn’t realize that one of the colors would be white… as in snow! We enjoyed a scenic and colorful journey through Ohio, New York and Vermont. Our timing couldn’t have been better to see the fall foliage at its peak. The daytime temperatures were warm in the sun and brisk at night. Then we arrived in New Hampshire. It was October 12, ColumbusDay, historically the day the colors peak in that area of the world. And they were spectacular! We meandered along Highway 302, drove the scenic Bear Notch Road and experienced the glorious Kancamagus Highway. Brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and greens appeared to glow in the warm sunshine. Our long journey was rewarded by this one day!

That was October 12th. On October 13th we awoke to a winter wonderland. A totally unexpected fall color… white! A light blanket of snow covered everything. Beautiful but cold. It rained on and off for the next five days and temperatures never exceeded 40 degrees during the day and fell into the 20s at night. According to the newscasters we were experiencing the coldest fall in the last 30 years. Weren’t we lucky.

We spent four of those days dry-camping next to my cousin’s horse pasture while we visited relatives. No electrical hookup meant no electric heater. We relied upon our propane fueled forced-air furnace to keep us warm. It did a great job but the furnace fan was kept busy day and night and drew a fair share of our available battery power. That would have been an opportune time to observe how well our new solar panels would replenish our batteries. But, with overcast skies, the panels had very little sunlight to work with. We were forced to run our generator a couple hours each morning to recharge our batteries. Maybe when we are in Yuma…

For those of you who plan on being leaf-peepers next year… a few things to consider. Campground reservations might be advisable, especially around Columbus Day. Be prepared for huge crowds at attractions like the Norman Rockwell Museum, Shelburne Museum and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. And, of course, those two-lane highways will be lined up with tourists… and, like you, they won't be looking where they are going either. But then, viewing New England’s fall foliage when they are peaking is an experience you will never forget.

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