By James F. Finn
Early November is the best time to see the bright colors of the changing autumn leaves before they all fall. This weekend, I was in both Harpers Ferry, WV, and Warrenton, VA, indulging with friends away from the city in the scenery. Both days in each town presented unique opportunities to experience the colors. I will present them as the Ground and Airborne options.
Harpers Ferry (Ground Option)
I was in Harpers Ferry around this time last November on a self-guided charity bike ride for MS. For a few hours, I was able to enjoy the historical town briefly before having to mount the bike before the sunset. My friend, Devon and I explored the town on foot and the mountains overlooking it. We hiked the roughly five mile loop up and down the Maryland Heights trail. As we hiked up the steep hills, we learned the back-breaking history of the trail. During the Civil War, the Union Army positioned cannons and other high-powered weaponry on the top of the mountain. As Devon and I strained to climb 1,453 feet to Stone Fort Overlook, we read the historical markers describing how Union soldiers hauled cannons up the mountain daily using primitive pulley systems. Nonetheless, the colors of the leaves distracted us from the upward climb.
Warrenton (Airborne Option)
My skydiving buddy Paul and I decided to close out the skydiving season with a trip to the DC Skydiving Center. We arrived around 11 AM to jump but were grounded from jumping until 3 PM since wind conditions were too gusty to make a safe jump. By the time we were airborne, the sun was beginning to set and the colors of the trees below were a mix of red, orange and green. Once the chute deployed after a few minutes in free-fall, my instructor and I glided down back to the airfield while taking in the colors of the mountains and farms on the ground. This was a more adrenaline-filled option to experience the Fall Foliage but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Don’t Miss Out!
Whether you’re in DC, Northern Virginia or anywhere else on the east coast, take time to catch Fall Foliage before the views become bare and cold.