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Waiting for fall

Reading the muse from South Carolina has me holding out hope. There is a chance yet that our drive up the Blue Ridge in November might have a bit of color left…

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been searching for signs of fall — with no luck.

Where the heck is autumn?

I need some crisp air, crunching leaves, shivery nights.

I need to dig sweaters out of the back of the closet. Take a walk for no reason other than the weather is especially fine. Breathe air that smells of wood smoke and ripe apples.

During the 25 years I lived in Florida, I got used to having no fall to speak of. Signs of autumn there are so subtle, they’re pretty much lost amid the traffic jams at the beach, the blaze of sun on white sand. Oak trees in the Sunshine State don’t lose their leaves until January.

Here, it’s different. These are the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place that could be called Fall Foliage Central. Autumn is practically a sacrament here. People make pilgrimages to the mountains year after year, so they can stand amid blue spires and inhale the beauty.

They lean against the railing at Parkway overlooks and try to put it all into words.

It will definitely be a different kind of drive. Going from the remnants of summer on the Gulf Coast into what should be the beginnings of winter in the mountains of Virginia. We will be running north up half the length of the Blue Ridge. Catching it in Georgia and leaving it somewhere in Virginia.

We aren’t planning to stay in any one place this time. Just wandering along the Blue Ridge for a week or so before wandering back to Texas.

Wish us luck in our search for Autumn.

Waiting for fall to bathe us in color : Columns : Anderson Independent-Mail