Fast Forward Changes

Autumn seemed to come and go in a heartbeat this year.

My upper deck bird feeders detailed the metamorphic changes, in photos taken altogether too close together for my comfort.

October 1st: With fall colors abounding across the valley, it was time to fill my bird feeders for the season.
October 8th: after several days of hard frosts overnight, some fall color remains, but many trees are already bare. I’ve added suet bars to the feeders. This Hairy Woodpecker eyes the first snowflakes (you can just see them against the green of the spruce tree) with wary apprehension.
October 10th: Mere days later, after a wet snow followed by frigid rain and increasingly cold nighttime temps, no fall foliage remains. “Hairy” appreciates the suet bar.
October 14th: And …. It’s winter. ❄️

A Good Day For a Walk?

As soon as her eyes opened … well, partly opened, the thought settled in. It’s morning!

Today would be a very good day to go for a walk. A brisk morning walk can be so invigorating. And fun!

Unless it’s raining – walking in the rain is NOT fun. I’m just sayin’.

Then again, she thought, it’s pretty early. Maybe we should go for a walk a little later. Yawn …

Still buried in warm blankets, she stretched and rolled over so she could glimpse the big, north-facing window across the bedroom. The curtain was open and dawn was already well underway.

The first thing she noticed was that it wasn’t raining. Oh joy! That’s a good start to the day. Then again, it didn’t look particularly warm outside.

Nearby tree branches quivered in a light breeze, the few remaining yellow-brown leaves clinging defiantly to the limbs. Most of their fellows were laying wet and sodden on the forest floor.

The sky beyond wanted to brighten with the dawn, but was fighting a losing battle to the looming clouds spilling over the mountains. It wasn’t raining, but …

Hmm … there is much to be said for staying in bed. Maybe the walk can wait.

Draped in Black

Well …. it seems I misjudged the appropriate date for winterizing “Roada”. Because of my miscalculation, or MAYBE just because winter is setting in way earlier than I was prepared to accept, the poor girl is spending a couple of weeks wearing this disgraceful black plastic gown.

Still, better safe than stylish, right? Nighttime temps are expected to be in the mid-20s for the next two weeks, and I really don’t want frozen pipes.

So, until my appointment for winterizing and some regular fall maintenance on October 6th, the heat stays on inside the RV, which, combines with the plastic skirt and a small electric heater under her butt, should keep her safe and sound.

In the meantime; I continue procrastinating. I’m only partway through the unhappy process of unpacking and cleaning the RV.

As I sort through what goes into the pantry and closet in the house, and what goes straight into RV-only crates in the basement, I sigh.

The road, now carpeted with gold, continues to beckon.

I guess it’s time to set my spinning wheel up in the house. Who knows where it will lead me this winter.

In Search of Fall Foliage

If I sit in my driveway long enough, fall foliage will inevitably find me all on its own, but seriously, where’s the fun in that?

Those were my thoughts early last week, as I pondered one last outing in the RV before having to close it up for the long winter months ahead.

The weather just hadn’t been cooperating. Trying to coerce Mother Nature into providing a couple of convenient sunny days in between twice weekly physical therapy visits and the already scheduled appointment to get Roada (the RV) washed and waxed, had seemed increasingly unlikely as temperatures continued to drop and rain continued to fall.

Of course, if you read my last blog post, you know how that “wash & wax” appointment played out.

So, there we were, at 7:30 am, in downtown Anchorage, with a dirty RV and no place to go.

Simply heading straight back home was not an option. It was a glorious sunny day! If we couldn’t get our expected day-long spa treatment, we could certainly find other ways to amuse ourselves in Anchorage.

I set my GPS to direct us to Kincaid Park, a huge and well-loved playground just minutes from downtown Anchorage – and one I had yet to visit.

Being right on the shore of Cook Inlet, fall colors had not yet peaked here, although you can see “termination dust” along the top of Sleeping Lady (Mt. Susitna) in the background.

In fact, it still looked remarkably summer-like with soccer games in full swing, bikers, hikers and dog-walkers abounding and acres of green grass beckoning to picnickers.

Ronni and I enjoyed a leisurely one-mile loop along one of the groomed trails, taking a fun detour across a beautiful and very scenic raised wooden bridge. It was from the bridge that I was able to take in the lively soccer game being played far below.

But, there were sadly way too many off-leash and poorly controlled dogs for my comfort on this busy Saturday, so we chose to move on.

By the way; why is it that so many people walk their dogs on leash until they pass the clearly posted signs stating “All dogs must be on leash”, and then, once past the signs, immediately take the leashes off and let them run?

No rant intended here … I have nothing against well-mannered dogs whose owner wants to play frisbee with their dog in the park. Been there, done that for many years. But there are better places, especially if your dog does not have a solid recall or has a tendency to rush up to strangers and their on-leash dogs. 🤷‍♀️

Anyway, I was in search of fall colors, so after an hour or so of [mostly] enjoying the scenery and the activities, I bid adieu to Kincaid Park and continued my journey.

As I headed north on the Glenn Highway, I didn’t get far before a lightbulb went off and I thought, “if I just went up a bit in elevation, I might find the colors I was seeking …“. Gee, I wonder where I got that idea from?

Impulsively taking the off-ramp for Eagle River Loop Road, I pointed Roada’s sturdy metal nose uphill. It was only moments before I found myself engulfed in an enchanted gold-gilded paradise.

I admittedly made slow progress, since I found it necessary to pull over to better appreciate the view and snap pictures every few minutes.

THIS was what I’d been craving. If I had to accept that fall was indeed here, I wanted the beauty of the season, and I wanted it NOW.

Fortunately, there are plenty of pull-offs amply sized for an RV, spaced regularly along the aptly named Eagle River Road.

Ahhhh … My Happy Place 🍁🍁🍁
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