HIKING MACHU PICCHU STYLE: AUTUMN IN CONNECTICUT, PART 3

Our final day of our Connecticut road trip began crisp and breezy – a perfect autumn day, but definitely requiring not only additional layers, but a hat and scarf.  After another hearty breakfast we heading toward West Cornwall, a picturesque village along the Housatonic River that is spanned by a covered bridge built in 1841:

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One of the smallest towns in Connecticut, West Cornwall nevertheless offered impressive landscapes:

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The Housatonic was also mesmerizing, whether captured in a video or a still photo::

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West Cornwall is still a very rural area – as is evident by these fellows:

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Unfortunately, the colder temperatures limited our ability to stand still and take photos without our fingers going numb, so it was time to move on to our next destination,  Kent Falls State Park.  What we didn’t know is that we were about to be faced with a formidable climb on – you guessed it – uneven stone steps!

Kent Falls State Park’s entrance provides no clue to the vertical challenge that lay ahead.  The entrance is flat and wide, perfect for family picnics or strolls:

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The main attractions are the falls, which are not even visible from the road.  The falls cascade 250 feet vertically and there is a trail loop that follows the falls then shoots over into the forest and back again to main parking area. Here is the passage from its website that describes the climb:

 You’ll have to hike up a short but steep trail to see it all. The path and wooden lookouts are regularly maintained which allows visitors to climb right up along side the falls all the way to the top for post card views of the water.  This is not a long hike but does go straight up and those with asthma or heart problems should go very slowly.

Okay.  I don’t have asthma or heart problems, but while this trail did provide railings in some places as well as lookout platforms,  it was definitely not an easy climb, as the steps (deja’ vu) were often broken and uneven.  As with Machu Picchu during the actual climb my camera was stored away in my backpack.  To give you a sense of what we were climbing on – here’s a photo from the internet:

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Fortunately we had no time parameters so took a leisurely pace and were rewarded by outstanding views. Here’s ground zero before we started our ascent:

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The area had not seen much rain in the previous weeks so the falls were more trickling than powerfully cascading:

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There were pretty emerald pools that formed between the levels of the falls:

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We were very thankful for the viewing platforms which, while ostensibly offering places to take photos – were in actuality catching-one’s-breath stations.

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This was my favorite shot, taken about halfway up the falls. The afternoon sun suddenly poked through the woods above us, creating a most beautiful natural painting:

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My cousin and I decided to not continue up to the forest part of the trail.  Our knees and quads emerged unscathed, ready to hike another day.

Our next to last stop was the picture-postcard town of Kent, which has the reputation of being one of the prettiest places to visit, with well-kept 18th and 19th century homes.  There is an old train station no longer in use – but it was lovely to walk along its tracks:

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Also some unusual porch and roof decorations:

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Alas, our first restaurant choice was only opened on weekends, but the backup, The Villager provided ambience (inside as it was way too chilly for the outdoor patio) and a tasty, filling lunch:

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Ah, but the foodie piece de resistance was still awaiting us in Norwalk – Michele’s Pies. Not only are all the pies made by hand  there are also “individual pie sized” treats so that you can enjoy a savory treat without having to buy a large pie.  Many of these pies are award-winning and for good reason, as they are all made with fresh local ingredients every day.  Here is a sample of their variety:

Fruit Pies
Country Apple*
Apple Crumb*
Apple Caramel Crumb*
Sugar Free Apple*
Apple Cranberry
Apple Cranberry Crumb*
Apple Raspberry
Apple Raspberry Crumb
Sugar Free Blueberry
Fresh Pumpkin
Maple Pumpkin with Pecan Streusel*
Lemon Meringue
Blueberry
Blueberry Crumb*
Blackberry
Blackberry Crumb
Blueberry Blackberry                                                                                                                                                    Blueberry Blackberry Crumb*                                                                                                                                  Peach
Blueberry
Peach Blueberry Crumb
Raspberry
Raspberry Crumb
Fresh Cherry
Fresh Cherry
Crumb
Peach
Peach Crumb
Peach Raspberry
Pineapple Mango with a Macadamia Coconut Crumb*
Strawberry
Rhubarb
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb

Cream Pies
Banana Cream*
Candyland/Trick or Treat*
Chocolate Cream*
Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream*
Coconut Custard*
Coconut Cream*
Key Lime*
Lemon Lime Blackberry*
Strawberry Glace
Tiramisu Pie*
Ultimate Banana Split*

Tea Breads
Banana Chocolate Chip
Banana Nut
Zucchini Nut
Pumpkin Bread
Lemon Blueberry Bread

Misc
Brownies
Blondies
Granola
Fresh Muffins
Turnovers
Cheesecakes
Assorted Handmade Cookies
Coffee Cake
Strudels (assorted Varieties)

*National Pie Championship Award Winners

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Sadly since we arrived late in the day many of the selections were sold out – but never fear – there was enough to feed our sweet teeth and even bring some presents home.

It was a good thing we had a large supply of happy buzz from this road trip – for the traffic jams on the way home were a major buzzkill.  Jill and Miss Honda valiantly offered some detours but not only failed to help us to escape the morass that is Friday rush hour but often dumped us in very sketchy neighborhoods. Another WTDGAP moment – it kept our adrenaline pumping and since my cousin and I are also blessed with sharp senses of humor – we managed to get through this without too much ado,

Sympathy for my cousin for having to continue home to Brooklyn after arriving at my home in Queens.  At least he had Jill to keep him company.

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2 thoughts on “HIKING MACHU PICCHU STYLE: AUTUMN IN CONNECTICUT, PART 3

  1. Wow, those steps looked identical to the Macchu Picchu steps. It sure looks like the views were worth the hard work.

    Carolyn

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