Hiking,  U.S.A

Fall Foliage on Fire

fall foliage

Fall is the best season, wouldn’t you agree?  I was raised in southern Louisiana where we have two and a half seasons: hot, a little less hot, and sometimes cold. In the winter, we receive a brief break from the unbearable heat, and it may freeze a handful of nights.  The leaves change from green to brown and drop (except for our live oaks, which are evergreens).  When I moved to Washington DC in 2003, it was the first time I lived somewhere with four true seasons.  You know, Snowmaggedon in the winter (I had a Superbowl Party at my house- my Saints won! – and everyone had the next day off of work when the government shut down), cherry blossoms in the spring, and colorful leaves in the fall.

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A fall day in DC

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Stunning orange in Georgetown












Autumn is my very favorite season. The crisp, cool air invigorates.  Walking and jogging outside become pleasurable. Doing anything outside rocks! It doesn’t hurt that my favorite holidays are anchored in autumn. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas preparation. Who is going to deny that sipping on a warm hot chocolate or a gingerbread latte by a crackling, cozy fire doesn’t sound amazing? Autumn embodies all of these wonderful things, and colorful fall foliage sets the stage for the season.

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Me and Alan. Off we go hiking.

My husband and I would spend weekends hiking in Shenandoah National Park, which is about an hour drive from DC.  I love the explosion of color: the bright yellows, deep reds and intense oranges (also the inspiration of my wedding colors: “warm, fall colors” is what I told my florist). We were so lucky to have easy access to one of our country’s most beautiful national parks.

fall foliage

Look at that trio of color! Stunning against the blue sky.

fall foliagefall foliageOn this particular day, Alan and I hiked about 10 miles.  We started our journey on the strenuous but gorgeous Cedar Run Trail mid-morning. Trigger-happy, we snapped as many shots of the fiery fall foliage (such as those above) as our memory card would allow.

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Our hiking path on Cedar Run Trail

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Although the leaves stole the show, the waterfalls made an impression as well.

fall foliageBut the leaves!!!! Ohhh the leaves!!I

fall foliagefall foliageCan you tell I’m slightly obsessed? I just really appreciate what I never had growing up; this perfectly ideal season! I love to celebrate it! Fall makes me happy!

I think we got a little carried away, though, maybe enjoying the hike and the leaves a little too much….

We sort of lost track of time….

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Holding up the trail map in the dark.

And we did not finish the trail until dark.

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And the reward for hiking 10 miles into the twilight hours? Well, pizza of course!!

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Going home with pizza and wine, National Parks maps in hand

It was one of the best fall days I’ve ever had! This was November, 2007, two years before Alan and I got married.  Check out tomorrow’s blog post for part two of this fall foliage series: me and Alan hiking in our hilly new home of Nashville, TN with our nephew Jager! 


Lindsay Lewis-Thomas

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