We’re Not in Nebraska Anymore

A travel blog...

Columbus Day. Edit until 2:30am. 1.5 hours of sleep. Up at 4 am to catch our flight to Boston (leaf peeping with the hubby in New England). Rent car and drive to Mohawk Forest in northwestern Massachusetts.

Stop for a quick hike before entering Vermont. Amazing weather. Extraordinary colors. Seduced to go further. Yellow and red leaves cascading in the air. The sound of acorns mysteriously dropping. No humans. A little obsessed with the 50 shades of green moss. Macro photography it is.

Close to sundown. Can’t stop with the macro. Oh look, mushrooms. Macro.

How can there be so many mediums of fungus. Macro.

Big noise behind some trees. Not a raccoon type of noise. Acorns aren’t that big. Bear country. Hustle to catch up with hubby. Losing more light but trail should loop soon... based purely on Nebraskan gut instinct and the stranger we bumped into from the start. Look at that perfect maple leaf. Macro.

Same loud noise. Uncomfortably loud. Hustle to the hubby again. Trail becomes dead end instead of the loop as expected. Nothing but trees and river. Getting dark. My instinct... run back into the dark forest past the loud noises dodging falling acorns back to the beginning... minus the macro. Smarter husband instinct... stay out of the forest and follow the river and eventually find a way across to the highway above. Submissive wife. No place to cross for a long while. Lower light. Perfect photography light. Can’t take the time to switch lenses because of impending nightfall. Part of my soul dies on that river not getting the wide angle. Lots of rocks and boulders along bank. Slow pace. No end in sight. Maybe just one more bend. Nope. Can’t even continue on along the river. Too many large boulders. Must cross river. Camera in backpack. Skip from rock to rock. Not so bad. Light almost gone. Soul still dying from no wide angle shot of the river with the blazing autumn trees. Climb up the steep embankment to the highway to hopefully flag down a car. Sun down. Now twilight. Narrow highway. Look down at river from where we just crossed. Huge bear... right where we were before crossing. He can’t get to our deliciousness now. Freaking out. He was certainly with us all along. Glad I lost my soul not getting the wide angle. Walk one direction down the highway for a long while.

Doesn’t feel right. Turn around and walk the other way. Doesn’t feel right. Turn around again. Twilight gone. Dark.

Full moon at least. No cell service. Worried about more bears or getting run over on the dark winding highway. A little worried about Salem witches... not gonna lie. Jumping up and down flagging down cars. At least 30-40 go by over the course of our gymnastics. Not in Nebraska anymore. No one stops. May have cursed Massachusetts on a number of occasions. Hubby making clapping noises to scare bears in the dark. I start wooting.

Finally Bryce from North Adams stops. We appreciate Bryce. Hubby does not trust Bryce from North Adams. I’m ready to crawl in to give creepy Bryce my credit cards and social security number.... but I also wanted to run into the dark forest with the bears. Get directions instead. Bye Bryce from North Adams. I never felt so attached. Not much further he said. A couple more bends.

And then... there’s our vehicle. Boom. Mic drop. Heads back on seats. Deep exhales. Relief. Laughter. Astonishment that we irresponsibly got lost in Massachusetts. Now let’s drive to Vermont.

All I know is that when I woke up after 1.5 of sleep that early morning the last thing I imagined I’d be doing hours later is running down a dark Massachusetts Highway in the dark making loud noises to scare away hungry bears as they hunt for one last pre-hibernation meal... but here we are. I wouldn’t want to be alone with anyone else in a magical New England forest, and I wouldn’t want to be lost in the dark with anyone else either.

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