I’d always heard about the fall colors of the northeastern USA and thought there isn’t really anything so special about that. After all, there are deciduous trees in the northwest too. They turn colors in the fall. Then there’s the rest of the world. The USA isn’t the only country on the planet with trees that lose their leaves in the wintertime.
I can’t say anything about the rest of the world, not having been everywhere in the fall, but after having been to the northeast during the fall I have finally seen just why the leaves there leave such an impression on people.
It’s not just that there are trees that turn yellow, orange, or red. We have those in the northwest too.
What we don’t have are native trees that turn such bright shades of red or such a vibrant orange.
That’s not the only thing though. While there are evergreen trees in the northeast, there are also entire hillsides with nothing but deciduous trees showing off their brilliant colors uninterrupted by patches of green, where our hillsides are often dots of color between the greenery.
It was also surprising just how rural Vermont and New Hampshire are. For tiny little states near to highly populated areas, these two states have a lot of countryside. Narrow winding roads, sometimes even dirt or gravel rather than paved run for miles through forest or farmland, passing through towns so small they may not even have a gas station or grocery store.
The towns do all seem to have what look like old churches, but in New Hampshire many of them were labeled as the town hall. Once we got to Vermont most of the churches were still churches. The towns we passed through in Vermont were also more likely to have a gas station than the ones in New Hampshire. In some New Hampshire towns the old church was just about the only thing in the whole town.
We did take a bit of a detour route from Boston, Mass on the way to Jay Peak, Vermont via a 2-night stay in Stoddard, New Hampshire and a route that took us over the Cornish – Windsor covered bridge between New Hampshire and Vermont.
On the way back we took a side trip to Montgomery, Vermont to go covered bridge hunting in a town that has 7 of them. The route google maps gave us from there to Boston included about 15 miles on a gravel road between Montgomery and the highway. Portions of that gravel road had bright yellow-leaved trees forming an archway over the road for quite long stretches.
Hiking up the hillside through the colorful trees at Jay Peak resort offered lovely views both in close-ups of all the different colors of leaves and views of brightly colored hillsides rambling off in the distance as far as the eye could see. From up on the top of the peak (which is accessible by a cable-car tram as well as on foot) the views were even more impressive.
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