Many of us dream of getting out on Lake Champlain during fall foliage; it's a beautiful way to enjoy the scenery. But if your budget doesn't allow it, it probably allows for this; Photographer Shelly Holt Allen and I caught a ride on the Lake Champlain Ferry. Her name is the Adirondack, fitting since that's where we're heading. We couldn't have picked a prettier day.
The Adirondack first took to the water in 1913 down in Jacksonville, Florida, eventually making her way up to Lake Champlain in the 1950s. Captain Steve Pond has been on this boat since the late 1960s.
"Colors are still a little muted here in the valley, getting some patches over here in New York near the lake because it's warm," Pond said.
When you get off in Essex, don't be in a hurry to get somewhere else. It's worth poking around in this town, with its little shops, inns and historic homes.
John and Rui Martin are from Texas, here to combine business with some sightseeing.
"Our leaves don't turn, they just fall off," John said. "So we don't have anything to compare it to. This is spectacular."
"I really came because I just wanted to see the turning of the leaves," Rui said.
We did get back on the road, traveling south on Route 22 and then getting off on county Route 8 in Wadhams. As you travel away from the moderating influences of the lake, the colors begin to show and the land opens up. There are some beautiful vistas.
Farther into the mountains, the leaves get brighter and brighter. Of course there are evergreens in the Adirondacks, but they just help highlight the oranges and reds.
The best part of finding peak foliage in the mountains? It means the foliage season is far from over, the best is yet to come in the valleys.
Keene is another good place to stop. You can't go wrong anytime you can combine sunshine, peak foliage and baked goods. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so.
"It's getting busy now, leaves late, but just in time for Columbus Day weekend," said Jane Martin of the Cedar Run Bakery and Market.
The Adirondack lakes are also beautiful this week. We traveled through to Mirror Lake and Lake Placid, where the leaves are bright and the water is calm.
If you want to see the foliage in the Adirondacks, now is the time to come. It won't be getting much better than this.
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