I remember my parents taking me to the “Covered Bridge Festival” every October.
An annual migration to east-central Indiana each autumn was one of my favorite childhood memories. Every year we made a Friday-Saturday migration to the wooded countryside of Parke County IN and the city square at Rockville.
The leaves were crimson and scarlet with bursts of bright orange and gold, the weather crisp and cool with hints of cold. I remember walking through the various vendor tents and tables, sampling pumpkin ice-cream and homemade donuts called “crullers”, all chased down with cold milk and warm cider. It seemed like a dream world, where people dressed and worked in the authentic old country-style, carpenters and blacksmiths side by side with home spun blankets and leather goods. The smells were spectacular, with every kind of candy concoction brewing in big brass kettles and caramel apples still warm on their sticks. YUM!
The point is… after almost forty years, I REMEMBER!
The hilly roads and woods, dotted with small towns like Bridgeton and Montezuma, each with their own splendid festivals of BBQ and Corn on the Cob or live Bluegrass bands playing by the little towns celebrating their one and only covered bridge!
It was so fun, and we took the time to explore everything! Driving and walking, stopping to talk and eat, shopping flea market stalls as we visited each Hoosier town along the way.
A treasured tradition I won’t forget, these short road-trip adventures were so healthy for me to experience as a pre-teen…I counted on going back to Indiana each fall. The weekends became my place to escape the stress and just enjoy being with my family. It didn’t matter what grade I was in, what stuff my parents were dealing with or how old I got… we ALWAYS took a day or two each year to go to the Covered Bridge Festival.Something I am so grateful for today.
My question for you… what tradition can you create this fall… where can you wander when the leaves change their color? Go, get out….take a day off and make some memories. Those precious kids of yours won’t be young for much longer…
To find out where the best fall foliage colors are this year… check out the US Forest Service website ! Priceline is always a great site to use for last-minute hotel deals and the Food-network’s, Diners-Drive in’s and Dives is a fun way to discover some great local grub along the way!