Early New England Fall Colors…

October 9, 2009

Full of surprises? Just what does that MEAN?

Full of surprises? Just what does that MEAN?

This Tuesday, we caught a good break in the weather, and couldn’t paint & fix-up at daughter’s condo because the floor guys were sanding & staining, so we headed off along Rte 6 to Hartford, CT. Along the way, we saw lots of early-changing fall colors, lots of technicolor combinations of greens, yellows, and reds that made it a visually delightful trip. Though we were somewhat concerned to be “Welcomed Killingly,” nonetheless, we continued on. (Check out the gallery* for a few more photos) First major wayside stop was in Coventry, the site of Patriot Nathan Hale’s homestead deep down in the woods:

The re-constructed boyhood home of patriot Nathan Hale, Coventry, CT.

The re-constructed boyhood home of patriot Nathan Hale, Coventry, CT.

Nathan Hale, as you’ll no doubt recall, was the man who said as he was about to be hanged by the British for spying on them in 1776: “My only regret is that I have but one life to give for my country!” A remarkable thing for a young 21-year old revolutionary Captain to say, but times were different then? He and his 11 siblings were raised in that homestead. The place is said to have housed as many as 16-20 inhabitants at once, over its history.

There were fall colors emerging all around the Hale homesite (and also, some Halloween scarecrows, in the gallery), and alas, we had the entire place to ourselves, no tourists, no operators, no one else at all. It was beautiful!

Fall colors from Nathan Hale's yard

Fall colors from Nathan Hale's yard

One of the neat things about driving along backroads is the local color you can pick up not only from the trees, but from the natives too. For example, we stopped for lunch at the Shady Glen restaurant in Manchester, CT, and found a place full of local regulars who came there for the great waitstaff, good conversation, “world-famous” cheeseburgers, and, ice cream made right there on the premises. Our waitress Ann said she’s worked there for 11 years, loves it (“I like people!”), and is able to make a living, pay her mortgage, etc. on what she makes. It’s a good life, and fun to glimpse. But we moved on from Manchester to the metropolis of Hartford, here’s beautiful downtown Hartford, home of all your insurance giants:

Bustling, beautiful, downtown Hartford, CT

Bustling, beautiful, downtown Hartford, CT

As scenic as it appeared on the colorful day of our visit, Hartford is suffering in this economic downturn, and we saw many vacant-looking businesses, and other signs of economic stress. We had actually gone there to see a certain museum, but found that it was closed on Tuesdays! See more Hartford scenery at the gallery link. Finally we headed east again, and at another wayside along Rte 6, saw this picturesque Connecticut farmsite:

Connecticut Farmsite along Rte 6

Connecticut Farmsite along Rte 6

White paw-prints on freshly sanded & stained floor. Sigh...

White paw-prints on new floor. Sigh...

On a sad note, remember my new feline assistant Stuart? Well, I had to fire him yesterday. He got a little too curious about the pan of paint I was painting from, and decided to bathe in the paint, then run all through the house, all over the newly sanded & stained floor! While Jane was giving him a bath in the kitchen sink, I was frantically working to lift all the paw prints from the new floor… (A picture is worth 1,000 words?) Fortunately, it’s water-based paint, so we were able to recover from the mess, but the kitten (see gallery for his exit photo) has to go find other work, I’m afraid. 🙂

We’re about ready to move on! Our projects are almost complete, and we’re looking forward to our next scenic stopover in Chesapeake Bay after picking up our friends Skip and Gretchen down Philadelphia way. More to follow!

*By the way, some have said that it isn’t clear how to access photos in the gallery associated with each blog post. Viewing on my Mac, I see a slight color difference on the links, but no underline or other distinguishing visuals. If in doubt, just click on the word “gallery” wherever you see it, and you’ll be there. Sorry about any confusion?

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