RoadTrip America

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RVing with Alice and Jaimie

Leaf Peeping Road Trips, by Alice Zyetz

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Visiting the fall foliage is a rich experience for any traveler. RVers have the added bonus that we can camp amidst the color. Many of the spectacular drives are in national forest lands with primitive campgrounds sprinkled throughout the area. One of my favorite New England drives is on the Kancamagus Highway, located in the White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire. We were there seven years ago, and I still see the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows in my mind. I remember the silence of the campground and the joy of stepping out of the trailer in the cool freshness of the morning, sitting down in my chair, filling my eyes with the beauty of the leaves, smelling the dirt mingled with the fallen leaves, and slowly drinking my coffee as I let myself drift into the color surrounding me.

Fall foliage is not limited to New England. The outbursts of color can be found in many states. The red may be missing in some areas, but the gold and orange hues are most acceptable.

One fall, we visited writing partner Jaimie Hall, whose husband was working in Rocky Mountain National Park that season. We went four-wheeling along the Cache la Poudre River, located in the Roosevelt National Forest, not far from Fort Collins, CO. Our timing was perfect. The aspens had just changed color. They seemed to shimmer their golden greeting to us as we drove by.

Willie and Doug, both full-time RVers, love the Canyonlands area of Utah during the fall. "The cottonwoods line the dry riverbeds, and when they turn bright yellow, they look like rivers of gold running through the wide open spaces." They have also been in Illinois in the fall when the weather was totally gloomy. "Through the gray and rain, the bright orange trees were quite astonishing," they say. "They looked like fire." Doug and Willie have also spent many fall seasons in Colorado. "The aspens turn bright gold and look wonderful on the mountainsides. We have been on hikes where we were surrounded by the white bark, gold leaves, and bright blue sky."

RV full-timer Patsy Cook is biased in favor of the foliage in the Midwest. She says, "I was not impressed with Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire because I have seen what Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan have to offer. Of course," she confesses, "I was born in Michigan, and you do have to go north of Ludington on Lake Michigan and Bay City on Lake Huron." Patsy has also been amazed by the colors of the fall foliage in Tennessee and Kentucky, particularly on Interstate 75, which runs through both states.

Next> How to Find Foliage Displays in Your Area

Alice Zyetz

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