Storm King Mountain, New York.
Long Pond Ironworks/High Mountain Park Preserve, New Jersey. [October 2015]
Autumn in the US Northeast evokes polychrome emotions: a touch of nostalgia for seasons past, a strand of awareness of fleeting reality, a shiver of longing for Uniqlo fleeces. No matter where you go – even within an hour’s drive from Manhattan – the colors, sounds, and smells of fall surround you.
Watching the fog-laced sunrise at Long Pond Ironworks, where the sky’s pink blush gradually gives way to brighter hews, one wonders how long we have before this hidden gem becomes overrun by overly enthusiastic hipsters – and one hurries to indulge in the present tranquility, like Breakneck Ridge past.
Marching into the depths of Storm King Mountain – because c’mon, we are too savvy to jostle against these Breakneck Ridge Metro North train-creatures in late October – the senses immerse into autumn deeper and deeper, and the eyes register colors they swear they are seeing for only the first time.
Strolling deeper into the leaf-littered floor of High Mountain Preserve, tucked away in the William Paterson University campus like a scandalous secret, one discovers little. There are no coyotes running wild – only its distant cousin, a docile scottish terrier on leash. There are no stunning vistas – that is, until you summit the mountain three miles in and behold the Freedom Tower in the distance, reminding you no matter how long you drive and how far you hike, you never really left home after all.
All fall back into fall.
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” -George Eliot