I can’t help but take several moments throughout my day to admire the autumn beauty. The Adirondacks have one of the longest foliage seasons in the country. Its the time of year that pumpkin patches and apple trees are ripe. After the back-to-school lull, hiking trails see high impact days as people seek long nature walks to admire the changing colors. After some brisk hiking, people crave the comforting buzz found in Adirondack breweries. Pumpkin flavored brews are stealing spotlight, which is fine by me because they are delicious. The mountain tops have seen their first frost; bugs are gone and flannels and hoodies are in.
The last hitch of the season has passed. I worked on the Minerva-Newcomb snow mobile trail building three bridges. It was a smooth sailing finish as the crew and I laughed a lot, retelling our favorite moments of the season. The mornings were a bitter thirty degrees; reminding me of how my nose turns red and runs in the cold. Once in a while, a wind swept through our work site breaking free the shaking leaves that fall to the ground like snow. Sometimes a leaf got caught in the wind and danced for a minute or more, twirling and spinning as if possessed by a magic wand. The variety of leaves makes the forest like a candy store. Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Quaking Aspen, American Beech, Yellow Birch, and more. Leaves like sugar crystals, I can almost taste the sweetness in the air, smell the fires, and hear the crackling wood and autumnal buzz.
As we wrap up here at the Whitney Headquarters, I’m more excited than sad to leave. Last Friday night, the eighteen of us sat around the table for dinner. I looked around at the faces and noticed how personalities have merged and we speak within a sort of tribal lingo. Small groups conversed, the room filled with happy murmurs. Occasionally, the whole table would witness a joke and laugh together. I thought back to the first dinner five months ago when we all sat in awkward silence. How things have drastically changed.
I’m so happy I took this job, but I’m ready to move on. I will take my learned skills with me, along with fond memories and adventurous stories. I couldn’t be more grateful to have had this experience. The Adirondacks will always have a special place in my heart and I know I will be back.
*Photo Cred to Ian McGregor