There’s a change in the air out here on our travels. It’s a little crisper and infused with that familiar melancholy of Autumn. I always get a little sentimental with the passing of another summer, and this year is no different being on the road. Gone is the hot summer sun, the lakes warm enough to swim in, and the smell of sunscreen. But also gone are the incessant little devils we call mosquitoes, driving us insane as we try to cook outside. Gone are the campgrounds filled to capacity and the traffic jams on park roadways. The cool evenings beg for the warmth of a good campfire and a snuggle into a hooded sweatshirt. Our hikes are a little less hurried as we find new colors among the shades of green. We joke about feeling like we’re at a James Taylor concert, as our fellow tourists all have a few decades on us. At the Visitor Center at our last national park, the retired volunteer said about the empty building, “Oh, after Labor Day? That’s when all us old people come out.” The lack of kids running around is admittedly both refreshing and a little unsettling. The playgrounds are sad when they’re empty.
But the best part of Fall is seeing the changes in nature. In northern Minnesota, the trees are just starting to change and those splashes of color show a new depth in our horizons. The days are noticeably shorter, which is a new shift when you live most of your life outdoors. We are subject to the changes of our natural world more than we would normally experience in our “regular life.” It’s inconvenient, but it also grounds us, and connects us to the outside world we’re living in. All things said, the ebb of the changing season feels good around here. Fall has always been one of my favorite times of the year and getting to appreciate it close up this year has been fulfilling.
Plus…there’s Oktoberfest beer!