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Maine house
Ford pickup Maine
Maine creek
Screw Auger Falls Maine
Vermont  farm
Lake Eden Vermont
Lake Eden Vermont
Ford farm truck Vermont
Cold Hollow Cider Mill truck
Woodstock Vermont farm
Cushing Cemetery Woodstock Vermont
Cushing Cemetery Vermont
Woodstock vermont barn
Woodstock Vermont barn
chopped wood Woodstock Vermont
Woodstock Vermont covered bridge
Middle Bridge Woodstock Vermont
Woodstock Vermont Town Green
Woodstock, Vermont farm
Quechee Gorge
Sugarbush Farm Vermont
Quechee vermont farm

Autumn in New England

Vermont farm fall foliageSouth Texas doesn’t really have much of a fall. Highs in mid-October are still in the upper 80s most days, and the humidity wraps around you like a wet blanket. We really needed an antidote: real autumn weather. So, over a long October holiday weekend, we mapped out a fall foliage road trip in New England. Over three days: all six New England states and more than 900 miles.

fall leavesClouds squeezed out the sun soon after we left the Boston area on our first day. We crossed the southern tip of New Hampshire into Maine, then headed north on rural, two-lane roads — past working and abandoned farms, stopping at small creeks and waterfalls in state parks. By the time we re-entered New Hampshire in the north, the sky turned an angry, dark gray, and soon it was pouring rain. Orange and red and gold leaves sagged on the trees, and more and more gave up the fight and jumped, swirling to the ground to land in ever-widening puddles.

It sounds like a miserable trip. But as we crossed from Maine to New Hampshire to Vermont, hugging the Canadian border with heavy rain following us, we also watched the thermometer on the rental car’s dashboard drop from the high 60s to the mid 40s over about three hours. Fall weather! By late afternoon on our first day, the rain had lessened to a trickle, and the sun even fought its way back to make the remaining colors on the trees explode. The cold had settled in though. It made us appreciate the hot cider from a roadside stop near Waterbury, Vt., as darkness took over.

fall leaves Cushing CemeteryClouds were stubborn on the second day too, as we poked around the central Vermont towns of Woodstock and White River Junction and Quechee, but the gloominess kept the air crisp. It added to the atmosphere of an old cemetery we happened across near Woodstock, with weathered, moss-covered headstones — some marking the graves of Revolutionary War veterans. The wet grass and leaves soaked our feet as we tried to read the fading inscriptions and dates.

The narrow roads that wound along the Ottauquechee River and past picturesque farms were all but empty, save for an occasional bicyclist or tractor. We found a few covered bridges, and a couple of others that no longer spanned the river while they were being restored. We stopped at Sugarbush Farm to sample cheese and pure maple syrup, stocking up before heading out. The fading and falling leaves injected brightness into the dark day, even as the rain started falling again as we drove south toward our next stop in Massachusetts.

We wrapped up the trip on Monday afternoon and trudged back to the Boston airport, knowing that the upper 80s awaited us again in Texas. But for this one weekend, at least, it felt like fall.

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