"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Leaf Peeping Adventure

The colors of autumn are at "peak" as we said in northern New York.
The colors here are limited to shades of yellow as there are no hardwoods
like maples, oaks and elms. The gold, orange and yellows of the aspen and birch cover the hillsides and mix with the dark green of the black spruce and firs.
My favorite season of the year, hands down!

Relishing one of those rare we-both-have-the-same-day-off, we packed Kathleen, Abigail and Shoeless in the car and headed out to do some leaf-peeping.
We drove north on the Elliott Highway that becomes the Dalton Highway,
otherwise called the Haul Road. The route to the Arctic Circle and on to Prudoe Bay
some 400 miles beyond us.

Trucks have the right of way on this 2-lane winding road and we sure saw plenty.
The ones heading south were covered with mud from the unpaved areas of the Dalton.

It's quite isolated on that long stretch of road...
(This sign at the intersection is actually speaking of services in a western direction.
There will be no services to the north until the Yukon River Crossing and that isn't much,
to be kind in my description.)

...so when they see this sign, the truckers obey!
The sign advertises the Hilltop Cafe, offering food, showers, fuel and
its famous Mile-High Pie! Lots of varieties baked every day.
Understanding the needs of the lonely Haul Road trucker, there is a glass-enclosed
area of the little restaurant with some long tables just for the smokers.
A funny message printed on the door reads:
"Please don't tap on the glass. It frightens the truckers."

The ride to the White Mountains wasn't all that long,
but my fellow backseat passengers just couldn't stay awake.
I just love this picture of these two who have become good friends this summer.

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