Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Chill Of Fall

A cold front moved through this weekend and a preview of autumn's chill has moved in for a day or two.  The high today is in the 50s and, frankly, I'm a little chilly.  I don't have to wait long for warmth though as tomorrow's high is supposed to be back in the 80s.

The crisp air does remind me that the leaves will be turning soon.  For the past two years I have unsuccessfully tried to take pictures of the fall colors.  I've always been too late and I'm hoping I will be able to catch the transformation this year.

I've put some thought into it and I've picked a few places that should provide some good leaf peeping opportunities.  The first is Indian Cave State Park.  I found a great spot on the top of a hill overlooking the forest and the Missouri river (Here's a panorama I took last year).  If I hit it right most of the browns I saw last year will be reds and oranges.

The second place is Ponca State Park.  While I haven't hiked it yet, my recent visit there convinced me that there could be some awesome leaf viewing vantage points.

Another option is a drive along the Loess Hills Scenic Byway.  I've been thinking about doing this for awhile.  The byway runs from northern Missouri to just north of Sioux City, IA.  The full length of the Loess hills is about 200 miles.  The Scenic Byway, though, is not a straight shot and the Iowa portion stretches approximately 323 miles. This distance includes thirteen scenic loops.  The roads are paved or gravel and the scenery varies from forested hills to grassland to farmland.  (My Blog banner is from a Loess Hills Overlook near Preparation Canyon.)  I would probably only do the part north of Council Bluffs, 246 miles, so that I have time to stop and take pictures (limiting it to the northern portion still will mean almost seven and a half hours driving).  Besides, on the way back from the Lake of Three Fires hike I drove about two thirds of the southern part of the byway.

So these are my plans.  The Wife and I will be going to a Notre Dame Football game next weekend and I will start stalking the leaves the following week.  I also want to find time to fit in some hiking as well.  Now for some cooperative weather.  Wish me luck.

3 comments:

  1. Geez, man, would you stop making your lifestyle sound so appealing? Those of us who work and study 97% of the time are 'gettin jealous!

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  2. GH: I'll try but it won't be easy ;)

    Miss McC: I feel so ... dirty.

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