October 24, 2007


Connecticut, connecticut .... is there anything over there worth seeing? And we fall upon another spot where discovery overules intention. Yes, we had "intended" to spend "just a night" in this small, rarely heard of state to join Sharon (one of Kim's horse owning friends) for dinner. So, our overnight ends up being four, including a day's paddle on the Housatonic River, a nice picnic lunch and hike with Sharon, a longer day hike on part of the Appalachian Trail and an interesting drive through some of the most picturesque countryside we've yet to find.

We were surprised to that the Housatonic River State Park was partly closed for the season, but "free", quite a bonus for us full-timers out here.

Sharon lives in Bethany, but decided to drive up and meet us at the Park. The weather was beautiful, so after lunch, we made a short hike down the River, and looped back through a nearby hillside, where we discovered an old stone-lined road that lead up to the AT. The magnificant fall colors were well underway, making the liesurely stroll ever more enjoyable.

The River is a favorite amoung local canoeist & kayakers, featuring Class I & II rapids, and for the most part, fast moving water against the backdrop of rolling hills filled with fall splendar.
A nearby Outfitter suggested a 10 mile paddle that would take us back to the Campground. They were taking some customers on another part of the River, so we did a bike shuttle, and another opportunity for more exercise through the hils.

The upper River was still and quiet for the first couple of miles, creating mirrorlike reflections of the late afternoon colors ahead.

Kim's canoe seemed to jump out against the brilliant shades of red & orange.

Adding to the glorious views we jumped up several large groups of Canadian geese. It was interesting to see them get up, climb high above us into their "V" formation, then circle overhead until we were well downriver only to land in that favorite spot once again.

The longest covered bridge we've seen awaited us at West Cornwall, along with the first Class II ocurring right before & under the bridge. The final three miles to the Park went by quickly, as almost the entire route was fast water and rapids. As the sun began to set, the mountains ahead shown brilliant hues of lemon yellow, orange and apple reds ... what a way to end a great paddle!

Ready to get back into the woods the next morning, we started hiking the road we had discovered a couple of days ago up to the AT. The fall scene seemed all the more intense this morning, and a brisk wind added to the experience raining leaves from above, blanketing the trail ahead with an artist pallete of intense color!

A mile or so and the AT intersected the Pine Knoll Loop, taking us high above the Park campground, leaving all signs & sounds of civilzation behind. Throughout this area are remains of old homes. We found this one along the trail, I'm standing in what must have been the cellar.
The unexpected diversion was more of a climb than expected, but the reward was this magnificant view of that fall spectacle from a totally different perspective ... breathtaking!

Our final day in the area was met with a forcast for rain, so off we went in the truck, taking most of the day to complete a sixty mile loop through quiet farmlands, quaint hamlets & towns, lunch at the Mayflower Inn, and Kent Falls, New England's largest waterfall. Hope you enjoy looking at these shots as much as we did taking them!