A colourful adventure

Marnie and I have been travelling to visit relatives that we have not seen in the past three years. We would have travelled last year to visit her mother and brother and their children but Covid made travel feel unsafe. We enjoy travelling in late September and early October because the colours of the woods are in full bloom and traffic on highways is greatly reduced.

When we left our island on Rainy Lake two weeks ago, the red paint brushes along the shore stood out from the yellows of the birch leaves and the bright oranges of the ash trees. Many of the yellow leaves from the aspen had already turned to dirty brown and had left the branches barren of colour.

Often in previous years, the travel across the north shore of Lake Superior was filled with golden yellow leaves on trees. Until we reached Wawa, even those trees had lost their golden shine. Wawa was like a dividing line. The leaves were just beginning to move from green to colours. The red maples began filling the hills along with yellows, mustards, golds, oranges and reds offset with dark green conifers. The views were spectacular and only became better as we left the Sault heading for Sudbury and south to Parry Sound.

We chose the backroads south of Parry Sound expecting to see even more glorious colour. The trees had barely begun to change. Stopping in Gravenhurst for coffee, we were told that the colours in the Muskokas would be at their very best on Thanksgiving weekend.

As we headed west toward Kitchener, the leaves had hardly begun to change.

Everyone expects that the colours would be spectacular in one or two weeks.

I remember back to my childhood that my parents on Thanksgiving weekend would take us for a drive-up highway 71 to Nestor Falls for lunch at Helliar’s resort and the treat was the palette of colours on the highway. We probably did not appreciate the colours, but were excited to be treated to a restaurant meal. It was an annual tradition. So too are the weekend jaunts coming up this weekend to the Muskokas and Algonquin Park.

Everyone is wishing for bright sun shiny warm days that will light up the forests.

When my sons were young, the Thanksgiving weekend was often the weekend we began raking up the leaves in our yards, and the two would often dive into the mounds of leaves. It was great fun. Marnie and I watched a video of our two-year-old grand daughter doing that with her other grandfather this past week. The joy on her face and excitement of running and diving into the leaves warmed our hearts.

This fall season, being outdoors, enjoying the sun, the full palette of the colours of our forests, the freshness of the cooler air permits us to forget the pandemic, forget about our differences, and feel thankful for the goodness found in our country.

Former Publisher
Fort Frances Times

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