Fall color tour time again

by Pat Maurer

I’m not really sure where last month went. Wasn’t it just August?

Well, October is really here now. Time to start thinking about football, witches and black cats, cooler days and frosty nights.

And, don’t forget fresh apple pies and pumpkin too – yumm.

Except for the annual hunters, the vacation season is really over again and either this weekend or next we will be making the last trip up to Roscommon clean and winterize it and put it away until May rolls around again.

If you haven’t noticed, the colors are really beginning to turn in the area. I could see more color even between Saturday and Wednesday on trips from Clare to Harrison. The next couple of weekends should be perfect for color tours around our area.

AAA Michigan and the Michigan West Tourist Association said the central part of the state should be at its peak through mid-October and the southern part of Michigan should hit its peak from the middle of the month to late October.

The National Weather Service said , “AAA predicts a “normal” fall color season  for Michigan. And with gas prices falling along with the leaves, it is  anticipated that more than 1 million travelers will strike out in search of  the state’s awesome color display.” Lots of summer rain evidently helps to make the season brighter.

And, you don’t have to travel very far to see some beautiful colors. One tour, which includes Midland and parts of four counties including Clare is shown on the map. It is a 160 mile route that takes in hardwood forests and farmland, dozens of inland lakes and is crossed by the Pine Salt, Sturgeon, Tittabawassee, Tobacco and Chipppewa Rivers.

If the north country is where you prefer to look for fall color, another tour encompasses Houghton Lake and across the state to Traverse City along with the country in-between.

Jack and I prefer to find our own route each year. We usually do our annual tour on his birthday weekend. This year we will head north towards Gaylord and meander back south on all of the back roads and “short cuts” we can find.

Terry and Lisa have picked the second weekend of the month for theirs. We will see who spies the most color this year.

It certainly is a glorious time of year to be traveling anywhere. Even on a trip into town I see more and more colors every day. If you’re short on time, try just driving around your own community. There are loads of trees turning yellow, orange and red everywhere.

It always seems sad when summer is really over again, and it comes pretty fast when the calendar changes to October. Time now to start thinking about Halloween – just a few weeks away; and Thanksgiving, coming soon after. You know what that means – Christmas is only two and half months away!

No I haven’t even thought about shopping yet.