Sometimes it takes a little effort to find magic. In a totally spontaneous moment, we decided to drive up to Massachusetts last weekend without a real agenda. We just wanted to get in the car to see where it would take us. We were lucky to find a last minute room at an inn – using credit card points no less – so we didn’t think twice about booking the trip. The Northeast had a brief weekend cold blast (by contrast, it was in the 70s much of this week), so we piled winter coats, hats and gloves in the trunk. As we continued to drive North, the change in the trees became more vibrant and I felt this need to see something big, something that would take my breath away.
I can’t really explain why. Sometimes you can’t really explain what you feel. Our first day was spent wandering around a few towns and taking short hikes in the forest. The foliage was beautiful, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t finding what I was looking for. Seriously? All these beautiful colors around me, the sun shining through treetops, the leaves crunching as we hiked around the forest, and it wasn’t enough?
But I woke up early Sunday morning a little after sunrise to see this scene outside our window on the lake. We pulled on our clothes and ran outside. That mist! It was a good sign. And then we decided to check out of our inn early and drive a little farther north up to the highest point in Massachusetts.
And the drive up the mountain was beautiful. I was so glad to have made the call, as last minute as it was. We were surrounded by color and had to pull off the road a few times just to stand in the quiet with the leaves falling on us. We drove a little further and then we saw it – just a small strip of silvery frost topping the treelines. The trees on this part of the drive were so fiery red too. The way that the color gradually crept down in a gradient was something that I hadn’t seen before.
We drove up some more and found another lookout point. Some snowflakes were starting to flutter down and we saw the frost up close dusted on trees. The clouds were dramatic over the landscape, but there were some breaks of blue.
As we drove to the highest point, the snow started coming down harder and it seemed like the clouds were engulfing us. The snow didn’t even seem real because they clung onto the leaves and flowers in big clusters. It was the driest snowfall I’ve experienced, if that makes any sense. The temperature was about 30 degrees.
No matter how sick of winter you were in previous years, that first snowfall is always like magic. And it did feel like magic, like being in a giant snowglobe.
Our visibility at the peak was limited because the clouds were so low and thick that we couldn’t see farther than a few tree lines away. But then the kids wandered away and we followed them and stumbled across a clearing that took our breath away. Yes, see? The whole drive up was magic, but the sky opening up to reveal this view was beyond – and we could have driven away not knowing what we had almost missed. But sometimes it’s all about timing right? Because after about 15 minutes of gawking at this breathtaking view, the clouds rolled back in and shrouded it all back up again.
But I had found what I was looking for, not knowing exactly what it was going to be. I think because I have been feeling so empty lately, I wanted to see something that was bigger than me. Maybe this is why I keep searching for views and sunsets – to feel overwhelmed by nature and not by my life.
P.S. You can watch the Periscope replays of the whole journey up Mt. Graylock on Katch.