Change is coming. You can feel it in the air, and on your sandals. Leaves are changing colour. Wind is growing colder. Fall is nigh.
Fall is my second favourite of the five seasons, Spring is my favourite. I am a photographer, so the explosion of colour that paints the landscape in Fall is an exciting thing for me. Plant me with a camera, on a hill overlooking trees with hues of reds, yellows, and oranges, Iâ€™m a happy guy.
OK, a less begrudging version of myself at least.
Even a drive through the Adirondack Mountains or Gatineau Hills puts a sort-of smile on my face in the Fall.
Of course this year, the Adirondacks are out due to border closures. Gatineau is out too, not for border closures though â€“ traffic. Weekend driving through Gatineau Park is not without peril on a good day. Add in thousands of vehicles filled with tourists all trying to look at the same leaf on poorly-managed roads in Gatineau Park in the fall. Itâ€™s a recipe for disaster, or a good opportunity for your kids to learn all about swearing in traffic and road rage. Not from me though. I just had the windows down and the kids heard other people swearing.
One of the positives of this pandemic has been rediscovering areas of Ontario. Some of that I wrote about in The Leaderâ€™s Day Tripper series. One trip that I havenâ€™t written about was our trip to Pembroke.
The weekend trip to Pembroke was our familyâ€™s replacement for our planned two week Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia trip this summer. Pandemic-willing, that trip will occur in 2021.
Meanwhile we went to Pembroke over the August long weekend and the highlight of that trip, besides discovering Mediterranean Pizza from Boston Pizza, was Barron Canyon in Algonquin Park.
This canyon is about an hour southwest from Petawawa, through the Sand Lake Gate of Algonquin Park.
Barron Canyon trail is a one-and-a-half kilometre moderate hike from the parking area to the top of the canyon. Look down from the edge and itâ€™s 100 metres to the river below.
Itâ€™s not mountains, but itâ€™s beautiful. Rolling hills and forests all carved out by a winding river.
When we began the day, it was lightly raining on our drive to the canyon. That turned into a torrential downpour on the return drive. Still, even in the rain, the canyon was well worth the trek. A trek I will be making again later this Fall when peak leaf colour is reached.
We should all try to enjoy the Fall this year, however we can, for as long as we can. Fall may be nigh, but what comes next is worse â€“ the cold hand of Winter. That flaky white stuff all over the place that falls on the ground and will forever remain a four-letter word in my vocabulary â€“ snow!
A fifth season?
For those wondering why I wrote five seasons â€“ the fifth season is Mud. It comes twice per year and shoulders the Winter season.
After Winter, it is that mucky period in March after the snow has melted but nothing has sprung up yet for Spring. All there is is brown, and mud â€“ hence Mud season.
After Fall, Mud season is the grey area when the sun has disappeared, everything is wet, and blah. This hits between Remembrance Day and St. Andrewâ€™s Day (November 30th).
Both the Mud seasons and Winter are the worst. Enjoy Fall while you can.