But as dawn broke on our drive north, it was clear that the traditional peak had come and gone. Aside from the evergreens and a few bright splashes of yellow birch leaves, everything had already fallen.
And guess what? From Joy's perspective, it was just perfect. The forest floor, and even the roads, had a thick coat of crunchy leaves to shuffle and kick.
The leaves helped distract from the stim that's been driving me & JoyDad crazy lately, which involves grabbing handfuls of dirt and trickling the soil down onto her own body or hair. With all the leaves around, she was more interested in making careful bouquets of the bright birch leaves, assembling and twirling the stems in her hand. Lovely, and much less messy.
Rose enjoyed the fallen leaves too. She and JoyDad went hiking up into the woods, to find the continental divide between the Lake Michigan & Lake Superior watersheds that runs through the family property. Rose also used red & yellow leaves to decorated the chains on the rickety old metal swingset, which was just the right height for Joy to swing all by herself this year.
- Joy went swimming (Swimming! In the lake! In October!
- Rose went fishing with her uncles and learned to cast.
- Joy learned to drink from a soda can.
- Rose played her first game of dice with the grownups in the evening.
- Joy actually echoed the name of the lake, for the first time ever!
- We saw some ruffed grouse in the woods -- but not in the cabins.
- The weather was stunning all weekend -- shirtsleeve weather, blue skies, minimal insect issues.
- The starry skies at night went on forever.
Unfortunately, vacation is never forever. Back home we had to go, hoping the transition back to school won't be too exceedingly traumatic. At least we got to see the fall foliage in full swing on the ride back home! Tune in next spring for more exciting northwoods adventures.