I am no stranger to the spectacular show of foliage that happens in New England each fall. Growing up in Maine we had a standout maple in our own suburban front yard that would transform into shades of yellow, orange, or red. On weekends we’d go apple picking and my dad loved to take every back road he could find to get from point A to point B. Camping, however, didn’t come into my life until adulthood. In my 20s (omg, I’m 30 now and can say things like “when I was in my 20s”!?) I spent numerous summers essentially living in a tent while doing conservation work on public lands across the country. Full-time work, cabin life, and the humdrum of daily routines eventually took over and camping isn’t a huge part of my life anymore. We are fortunate enough to have beautiful trails, wetlands, lakes, mountains, and much more to explore right out our front door and still come home to sleep at night. Eventually, though, wanderlust beckons and the search for a change of scenery begins. About a week ago I drove up to meet Darin in the White Mountains, where he’s been commuting to and working for the past 6+ months, and we ventured out on a short 2-night camping trip. Before long we had scoped out a dispersed camping site on Elbow Pond and I found myself surrounded by the most stunning foliage I’d ever seen in my life. Warning: this post has a gazillion images.
New England foliage reports are saying the reds in particular are out in force this year. Some of the reds are practically magenta!
I fulfilled my dream of waking up to a foggy wilderness pond. ☑️
When you camp at dispersed sites in a National Forest, you basically just look for any flat area that’s already been impacted and set up there! We were the only ones on the pond on a Thursday night. In some places, like wilderness areas, there are stricter rules about how close you can camp to bodies of water. Here we were free to camp close to the pond in an already impacted site.
Solstice and I explored the user trails around the edge of the pond. He enjoyed running up and down the trail and splashing in and out of the pond at different entry points. A golden retriever’s heaven! Not spotting any wildlife with this guy around, though (except a Great Blue Heron when we took the canoe out for a paddle!).
I was trying to get a shot of the colorful shrubs when this dragonfly landed right in front of me!! I had quite the nature moment and snuck a tad closer with the 35mm prime lens I was using.
Solstice now uses this PFD when swimming after we had a scary situation with our canoe capsizing this August. He loves swimming and is a strong swimmer, but the life jacket gives me a peace of mind!
I could’ve watched the sun set from our campsite for ever… I didn’t want it to end!
The last light dipping below the ridge line.
I tested out my first ever manual long exposures the second night around the campfire. Stars!
Our second morning on the pond was foggier than the first. Fog <3
A camping trip and beautiful pond I will never forget!