Walt's Look Around: Fall vacation - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Fall vacation

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Walt Grayson is back to take us on a quick Look Around, but we’re slightly outside Mississippi this time.

It’s sort of a look into our future, however. Color is on its way here. Well, where we got to visit last week, it’s already there and inching in this direction.

This is the only thing we don’t have in Mississippi that I wish we did, mountains. Although there are many nice ones nearby: The Ozarks in Arkansas and Missouri. And the Smoky Mountains are so popular with Mississippians that I suspect that if a spot censes were takes of Gatlinburg, Tennessee at any given moment, you’d find enough Mississippians there for it to qualify for a seat in the legislature.

But, last week we ventured a little farther from home, the Colorado Rockies. And although I like the mountains any time of the year, but just as the leaves are turning in fall is my favorite.

Seeing the Colorado aspens brightening the mountainsides and valleys was refreshing. A reminder that it won’t be too long before our sweet gums start their change from greens to reds and purples, and the tulip poplars are already speckled yellow here. Change is coming. And you’re always excited and optimistic about change.

I have often thought that our fall color in Mississippi is just as pretty as Colorado’s or New England’s, or other places famous for fall foliage. Our problem? My GPS says my house in mid Mississippi is only 340 feet above sea level. A screen shot of my GPS at the top of Pikes Peak shows, 14,070 feet above sea level. That’s about two miles higher than our average terrain in Mississippi. That gives you some pretty big billboards on which to spread a lot of fall color.

And if you want to get off the highway there are trains you can take that cut through the mountains with scenery you can’t see from the road like the narrow gauge railroad from Silverton to Durango. Or another breath taking train is up Pikes Peak. Literally breathtaking. At 14,000 feet up it’s difficult for us folks who rarely venture over 500 feet above sea level to breath.

And then a shot out the airplane window as we were flying back home, those mountains we had just been wandering around got a good dusting of snow on the top the night before. The fall color I gladly accept as a forerunner of our fall. But the snow they can keep. On second thought, maybe it isn’t such a bad thing we don’t have mountains in Mississippi, after all.

We have an invasive species here in Mississippi that I suspect could challenge the aspens for color as it overtakes our state, the Popcorn Tree or tallow tree. They turn a brilliant red before the first frost. And they are spreading like kudzu.

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