As the weather begins to get cooler in October and November, there is no better time to enjoy the fall foliage than traveling North toward the Delaware River between the New York and Pennsylvania border. Super happy to visit my friend Mary Sue for the weekend in the town of Milanville, Pennsylvania, adjacent to Narrowsburg, New York. These charming communities are nestled between the Catskill and the Pocono Mountains and have become a getaway for urban dwellers seeking to escape or retire. After one hour of driving North, you begin to experience changes in the landscape as it becomes more rural and colorful. You drive through plenty of farmer’s markets, pumpkin patches, creeks, ponds, farms, and stunning views of the foliage. (There are also way too many Trump signs, but then Pennsylvania is a battleground state.) Mary Sue’s cabin faces the Delaware River, surrounded by woods and a few homes within walking distance. Narrowsburg is less than 10 minutes away, and it is definitely a hotspot for shopping, eating, and entertainment. This town has a vibrant and engaged arts community, attracting many artists to set up shops to create or perform. During my stay there we were able to watch a staged reading of a play outside on the grounds where we gradually became numb by the drop in temperature. Evenings are definitely chilly.

We were invited to lunch at the next town over (Hawley) for a delicious butternut squash and kale soup made with vegetables from an awesome garden. Raul and Michael’s historic home, garden, and art studio in Hawley was one of the most fun tours I have enjoyed at anyone’s home. Michael is a horticulturist, and Raul, a visual artist, together both have created an indoor and outdoor oasis combining the best of their awe-inspiring talents.

The charming small town of Hawley is also a wonderful getaway for urban dwellers and artists. It has historic appeal based on its many century-old buildings, including the national historic registered Hawley Silk Mill that has been repurposed. Hopefully, the next time I am there, I may get a chance to visit the Silk Mill and Lake Wallenpaupack, the second largest lake in Pennsylvania.

The next day I was dropped off at the Museum at Bethel Woods in New York while Mary Sue attended to her plans for a COVID-style bonfire get-together at the edge of the river. The grounds of Bethal Wood is where the infamous 1969 Woodstock Festival was held. The drive to and from Bethal Woods was just spectacular as the roads are both narrow and closer to the woods, where you get to truly experience the peaking of the autumn season.

Bethal Woods is a huge 800-acre campus that celebrates all forms of art, containing a Pavillion stage that accommodates 15,000 concertgoers, an indoor theater, an educational center, and a rather unique museum. The museum offers an interactive historical and cultural experience that takes you back to what the 60s were really like. It does an amazing job using videos, photos, and history panels on what the festival was like but, more importantly, how politics, religion, civil unrest, the Vietnam war, and music influenced an entire generation of boomers. The museum is small yet compact with so much to absorb. It is a walking history class that jogs your memory, helping you connect to other historical events that caused a “radical cultural transformation” of an era that today continues to have an impact on our lives. It offers young people an opportunity to learn about this historic festival and the turbulent times then and their similarities to today. If you are in the area, I recommend you stop at the museum as it will not disappoint.

Finally, what better way than to end the weekend with a bonfire near the river drinking spiked apple cider with a few new and old friends enjoying the best of autumn as we get ready for sheltering in what will be a tough COVID winter.

Do your best to safely take advantage of the weather connecting with friends and family in the outdoors while you can. If you miss this autumn there is always next year. Kudos to Mary Sue for hosting such an amazing weekend. My photos reflect much of the rustic and seasonal landscape of the area.

         Click the center of the photo to see the full view.

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