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Posts Tagged ‘Fall Foliage’

This year I will miss an annual tradition. This weekend I will not be there to support the thousands who lace up and run the NYC marathon from the sidelines. But even from a distance (I am in Mexico) I will take a moment on Sunday to cheer.

And to mark the occasion, I decided to republish a post I wrote last year for the Gainville blog. I hope you enjoy it. And I trust you will now understand why I do love the New York City Marathon.

Good Luck to all the runners as 26.2 miles is quite adventurous in my book.

my mom cheers on my dad at mile 8

Weekends in New York always make a great story. This past weekend was no different.

The village’s flamboyant Halloween parade, countless city establishments packed with Yankee fans rooting for their team in the World Series (remember this is last year) , not to mention standard Friday night fine dining, Sunday brunches, Broadway Shows, and much more. Eventful indeed.

Yet, to many who love the city, this weekend was not about any of that – it was simply marathon weekend.

The race begins on Sunday morning in Staten Island where 40,000 runners from all ove the world start their 26.2-mile journey. Through five boroughs they run bringing together a community, and a city. Considered one of New York’s most cherished traditions and one of the world’s most popular marathons, I discovered that the race brings out the best in us. (even as spectators)

I never truly appreciated the event until my Dad entered. He always wanted to run the race, and three years (now 4) ago in his 60s, he competed and completed the milestone. But what I discovered on that autumn day remains with me today. I didn’t just cheer for my father, but I cheered for all the runners.

As a spectator you can’t help yourself, you cheer. You cheer for your friends and complete strangers. You cheer for countries, causes, and even costumes. Whatever a runner wears on their T-shirt, duck-tapes on their shorts, or writes on their legs – you cheer for it. You let them know you are pulling for them to finish.

my dad in manhattan at mile 17Plus, they hear you and acknowledge your support. They say thank you with a smile or a thumbs up and some even pick up their pace. You give them the fuel they need to continue. It’s not New York’s famous water credited for its pizza and bagel making magic that replenishes the runners, but the course’s cheerleaders.

So this year again I returned to Central Park in the late afternoon, six hours after the race began. There on the course’s final mile, I cheered loudly for people I never met. I encouraged runners to finish the race, to complete their NYC marathon. I let them all know, by any means possible that I appreciate and applaud their tremendous effort.

the leaves were starting to fall....

 

After nearly an hour of support, with the sun starting to set I walked home. Through the park I admired the fall foliage and the leaves as they gracefully let go allowing the wind to carry them off. Then I realized during the race we all let go too. We let go of any prejudices and root for everyone. The fans of New York pull for all the runners, all shapes and sizes, all colors and creeds. The city roots for human accomplishment. To me, that represents the very core of the Big Apple and one of the reasons I continue to call it home.

So congratulations to all who ran the race this year. And for those running next year, I’ll be back in the park cheering for you too. And hopefully I’ll see a few more of my readers by my side.

Stay adventurous, Craig

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Sometimes you have a moment. A connection not easily described by logic or reason. You really just feel alive, in tune with everything. One. Whole.

I tend to find these majestic moments watching the sunset. In those moments, I take the time to appreciate the day.  I listen.

But such moments occur to all of us at different times. Mostly, I find, at times when we pause. When we take a needed breathe and appreciate our surroundings.

One such moment happened as I watched the fall foliage in northeastern Pennsylvania. On a walk to the lake I planned to take in the view, but received much more.

The view of the Beaver Lake

As I approached the dock, I started to notice a silence. The day changed. Snow flurries began to fall. The cool moisture in the air almost warmed the scene.

snow flurries began to fall....

I decided to continue to the edge of the dock where I eventually would sit on the bench. I sat in complete bliss. The pureness of the day, the snow, the scene overtook me. An hour passed.

the bench

Then, I left. I returned reenergized with a deeper sense of meaning. Priorities shifted. A new day began. A better day.

stay adventurous, Craig

This post is part of a three-part series on fall colors that will include Vermont, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Hope you enjoyed it, now go and enjoy the changing leaves.

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Last year I accepted an invitation to Hocking Hills, Ohio. Where? Exactly. But this relatively unknown Buckeye State destination left quite an impression on me not to mention a greater appreciation for the political swing state.

In the region, originally formed by Glacier run-off, visitors can explore and discover a unique micro-climate, truly taste a slice of America Appalachia and experience some of the best stargazing east of the Mississippi River. But what left the biggest impression with me – its fall colors.

In a destination spotlight I wrote on Hocking Hills, I mentioned the many ways to enjoy the seasonal spectacle. Whether you select ATVs, reasonably priced airplane rides over the park, kayaks, or even hike in the woods you will not be disappointed.

This year, since I didn’t get a chance to return in person I decided to return on my blog and give you, my readership, a chance to peak inside this true American Gem.

the visitor center.

On a walk through the state park, home to Old Man’s cave (the iconic landmark that nearly every attraction in the region is measured in distance from) you can take short or long hikes and enjoy the outdoors.

one of the many views hiking the state park

And probably my favorite way to witness the wonderland, on the water in a kayak. The early morning sunrise paddle was a (if not thee)  highlight of the trip.

the colors of the leaves outshine the kayaks...

For a complete overview of my entire long weekend in Hocking Hills, you can read my (guest) post from last year’s trip here or to learn more on the region check out 1800Hocking.

Stay adventurous, Craig

This post is part of a three-part series on fall colors that will include Vermont, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Also, all photos in this post were taken by Kirsten Alana, the official photographer from the trip.

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When Vermont received its name, I don’t believe it was in October. The green (vert) mountain (mont) state shows its true colors as the air cools. Beautiful and brilliant colors. And each fall many travelers take a pilgrimage to visit this part of New England. One year, I was one of them.

On a trip to Manchester City, I found myself enjoying a fall day at the Equinox Resort.  The historic property found in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, provides more than comfort from the chill autumn brings to the state. It provides the perfect place for an afternoon hike to view one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces, her fall colors.

Here are a few pictures from my hike. The first is along the trail. The sun beams through the cover and illuminates the forest.

walking the trail

After a small climb, you get the chance to see the view from above and witness the green mountains of Vermont turn to brilliant yellows, oranges, and red.

the view from above...

Then on the hike back, you can walk by a small Lake and enjoy the reflection of the majesty on the clear water.

through a clearing you can enjoy a water view.

Vermont is certainly not the only place to find the beauty of Autumn, but its fame is well deserved.

Stay adventurous, Craig

This post is part of a three-part series on fall colors that will include Vermont, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Also, when in Manchester City, make sure you visit the Hildene, the Lincoln family home.

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