Cruising Into Fall

A word from Hudson Valley’s Editor in Chief, Olivia J. Abel

Every fall when I was a child, my mother would take my grandmother out for a fall foliage drive. By this point, my beloved grandma, who lived with us, was mostly crippled by rheumatoid arthritis and could barely leave her bedroom, let alone the house. So this event became a big to-do. First, the route had to be picked. Now remember, this was in the olden days before you could hop online and, within seconds, have the latest “fall foliage report” right at your fingertips. So, since we aimed to give Grandma as big a boost of color as humanly possible, we usually headed north, often up the Taconic Parkway. I’d sit in the back seat while the two adults would comment on the colorful parade of trees we’d pass. “Look at the yellows on that one!” … “Hhhm, that one’s not done yet, it needs another week.” I got bored fairly quickly. (Thank God I was allowed to eat a package of Yodels — a special treat — on this journey).

It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the surrounding beauty; I could see how lovely it was. But since my grandmother couldn’t walk, we rarely stopped the car — and to be honest, the first 15 minutes of splendor looked to me an awful lot like the second 15 minutes. Occasionally we would, indeed, pull over somewhere and I would scurry out to collect some particularly beautiful leaves for Grandma, which she would treasure. Big, symmetrical red ones seemed to rank the highest. This part I loved: knocking around in piles of leaves and breathing in that rich-yet-crisp scent that marks the autumn. It must have left a lasting impression on me because, to this day, my friends consider me a nut case because I love, love, love to rake leaves in the yard; it’s my favorite household chore.

I also love following the fascinating fall-foliage routes that we’ve outlined in this issue. Not only do they provide world-class scenery, but the best part is that we also suggest dozens of intriguing stops along the way. So, unlike the sometimes-bored kid in the back seat during my childhood jaunts in autumn, I now savor the chance to hop in and out of the car and explore. Whether you want to break up your tree-gazing trip with lunch at a French café, a hike up to Kaaterskill Falls, or even take in a play at an acclaimed regional theater — we’ll help you plan the ideal day trip or weekend. Whatever your passion, the whole Valley is bursting with life at this time of year (hence the crowded roads and trains on weekends) as festivals galore, corn mazes, apple-picking, and great plays and concerts beckon to residents and visitors alike. Too bad there are only 12 weekends between Labor Day and Thanksgiving — but don’t worry, we’ll give you the lowdown on what to do for each and every one of them.

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And here at Hudson Valley magazine, we’re also starting fresh this fall. We’ve redesigned the look of the magazine and moved some departments around — let us know what you think.

Enjoy the season.


Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief

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