The Last Days of Fall

After sitting in front of the computer most of the morning, I decided to embark on one of the hikes in the book Best Hikes Near Pittsburgh.  I wasn’t in the mood to drive far, but I knew that the final countdown of leaves changing was in it’s last days, and I would regret it if I wasted it indoors. Again, the world did not disappoint and my decision was immediately vindicated a few miles into the drive.

My windows were full of rolling hills packed with bright reds, oranges and yellows.  Colors are at their peak and I found myself getting excited for the hike ahead of me. Thirty minutes later I was at the trail head of Brady’s Run Park, surrounded by the most vibrant yellows and oranges I had ever seen.

I found myself stopping to take a picture every few feet, because in my wildest imagination  I couldn’t have created the colors and vibrant scenery. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

About thirty minutes in, I passed by a fellow hiker, who commented, “And I thought I had the woods to myself today.”  I smiled back and said hello, but I knew what he meant.  It’s so empowering and almost cozy thinking you are the only one being enveloped by the surrounding woods–the sound of another’s footsteps disturbing the peace of your own solitude with nature.

As the afternoon wore on, the wind picked up and dark ominous clouds rolled in.  I cut my hike short to avoid the storm, because the forecast called for heavy storms, but when I got back to my car, still no rain.  I decided to tempt fate and take the one mile walking loop to make the most of the day, and continue to enjoy the colors.

On my way out, I stopped at a local farmer’s stand and got locally grown squashes and garlic.  I may be not be able to make the colors of fall last longer, but as it rains outside my window, and the leaves are slowly, continuous falling to the ground, I have homemade pumpkin goulash in the oven to look forward to.  It may not be the colors of fall, but at least it’s the taste of it.

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