Just last week Derek told me it smelled like fall. I, of course, denied that the damp earthy smell was the turn of a season. Instead preferring to relish in carefree summer sport a few lingering moments longer. The end of summer has always been bittersweet for me; for most of my life I have been returning to school as a student or teacher, and I am content to squeeze all I can from each sun drenched day. This year is no different and I will be starting a position as a Resident Environmental Educator in September. I took a break from strategizing the rest of summer in my datebook and looked around. Crisp winds are soon turning the leaves golden, burnt, and burgundy. I had to go back in the house and grab a jacket this morning to feel comfortable while walking the dog. Fall, our last fall in Pennsylvania, has arrived.
While I get nostalgic for summertime by the chilly days of December, fall is actually my favorite season. I have always enjoyed the coolers days perfect for bundling up in a sweater, cozy hat, and sitting by a warm fire. Derek and I met in late summer and spent our first fall together in corn mazes and carving pumpkins, drinking cider and designing ghoulish costumes. As our wedding draws near, now more than ever, fall holds an important piece of our hearts. We’re going to try to tackle as many fall activities this year as possible because we don’t know the next time the opportunity will arise as we travel. It just won’t feel the same to drink apple cider in 75 degree weather with my toes in the sand.
In the dog days of summer Derek and I have been busy planning our wedding and the first full-time traveling leg of our journey after marriage, while also preparing for my new resident teaching position. Every day we’re crossing chores off our many lists, counting down the days. We have also been taking advantage of the warm weather and long evenings to enjoy ourselves a little bit. This past weekend Derek stayed close to Johnstown for a hike filled weekend. He and the beast explored one of our favorite local spots, the Northfork Reservoir. They were able to enjoy the beautiful water views while hiking and wearing out some of Boone’s energy playing fetch. I spent the majority of my Friday at the Center for Metal Arts in Johnstown. Derek’s mom and I spent the day learning some basics of the blacksmithing trade. In awe of the historically rich shop, we both left with several new bottle openers and a newfound respect for metal work. The rest of the weekend I camped out and completed a 20-mile biking extravaganza from Ohiopyle to Confluence for a friend’s bachelorette party. In the upcoming days we will be moving from 1889 Park and closer to Pittsburgh. Derek and I will spend the last bits of summer before my teaching position visiting some favorite Pittsburgh locations and traveling back in time at the Renaissance Festival.
We have so much we’re looking forward to this fall. Of course there is the big one, getting married, which we are both excitedly awaiting. Derek and I also want to spend as much time hiking under canopies of hue changing leaves as possible. I know that I am looking forward to our annual trip to Faranda Farm. We love to find our way through the corn maze, pet llamas, and carefully select pumpkins to later carve up. Last year we didn’t make it to the farm, and we are adamantly planning a visit this season. Derek and I have even arranged some of our traveling dates based on fall favorites. We decided to stay in the local area until after a festival in my hometown called Fort Ligonier Days. Each year I make the pilgrimage home excited to see the folks, oggle craft booths, and stock up on food booth delicacies while wading through crowded streets. In between these occasions Derek and I will be working, preparing for our wedding, and enjoying Pennsylvania in our free time.
Fall is just about here in Pennsylvania. Derek and I are excited to get our fill of classic sweater weather activities before taking off to lands without four seasons. We are looking forward to flannel, bonfires, warm drinks, and pumpkins. We would love to hear about your must-do fall fun. Let us know here on the blog, write a comment on this week’s YouTube video, find us on Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. To follow along on this journey with us like, subscribe, follow... on whatever social media platform you use.
Until next time,
The Tie Dye Travelers