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I haven't seen a proper Autumn in over 7 years. I was living in Spain, then Florida, and then San Diego, in each of those places the leaves never turned, the temps sort of dropped about three to five degrees and everyone threw on a long sleeve t-shirt instead of a short sleeve and went about their business. But in New England, Fall is an EXPERIENCE. I was beyond excited to see some of the colors this year, so in the last week I went up to Vermont and the Catskills in Upstate New York in separate trips.
The weather did not look promising for my Vermont trip. Rain was in the forecast and that meant my plans to hike Vermont's highest peak, Mt. Mansfield, for foliage views might be spoiled. But I woke up and started hiking anyway. I thought maybe I'd hike above the clouds, or it would clear up by the time I made the summit. And I wasn't exactly wrong. On my was down after summiting, the clouds opened for about 90 seconds, and the view was amazing.
All the rain meant that the waterfalls were flowing strong, and they were spectacular. I had no idea there are so many gorgeous waterfalls flowing into crystal clear pools. New England reminds me a little bit of the Pacific Northwest with the amount of rain and the landscape, it just has smaller mountains and no volcanic activity.
Hiking in all this rain means mud, and this was my first time testing out my Keen Targhee EXP hiking shoes from Zappos. Zappos had them delivered super fast, just in time for my trip. I generally dislike burly hiking boots and prefer hiking in trail runners, but trail runners are not waterproof. These Keen hiking shoes from Zappos are absolutely the best of both worlds. They have the comfort of a trail runner but are as waterproof as hiking boots. I stepped in countless mud puddles, streams, and rivers, and as long as I didn't go in deep enough for the water to go over my ankles my feet stayed completely dry. I truly love these hikers and I never thought I'd find a shoe that did everything in these conditions.
Later in the week a friend and I decided to head to the Catskills to go paddle boarding. We found a nice spot and had the place to ourselves while the leaves fell down around us. The water was freezing cold, but the air temperature was warm.
Leaf peeping season in New England is only part of the way over, and I can't wait to see what other beautiful views this season has in store for me. If you have a favorite spot in New England I should check out this season, or any season, let me know in the comments!
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Kat Carney is an outdoor adventure photographer. She loves surfing, climbing, canyoneering, and mountaineering, and can often be found wandering around both the east and west coasts in her built out suburban. See her adventure wedding portfolio at www.swellandstone.com.