Last weekend, I drove with my parents to the mountains to admire the fall foliage and visit the area where my father worked as a young musician in the early 1950s. Almost every stop included a lake: the mountains are filled with beautiful little lakes. We stayed at an old mountain inn built more than 100 years ago and ended the day sitting comfortably in front of a fire talking to the innkeeper, just as if we were characters in a 1930s movie.
We take this trip every year, and we’re always alert to any changes in the landscape. My father will point out resorts that have closed during the last 60 years. And he’ll shake his head at the size of the summer cottages that private owners build. But of course, since so much of the land is protected under the state constitution, much of the land stays the same. On hiking trails, the tall pines tower above us, the pine needles underfoot release a heady aroma when you walk on them, the ferns crowd the paths, and the hardwoods fill the sky with red, yellow, and orange on a fall day.
“Yeah, it’s still the same,” my father said. “I love that.”