I arrived in Montreal from Halifax via Canada’s VIA Rail this morning around nine, and now I’m all checked in and settled into the Fairmont Le Riene Elizabeth on the Boulevard René-Lévesque. I’ll have stories on Halifax and my thoughts on traveling by train soon. For now, I want to backtrack a tad and tell you about my trip into the Rockies near Glenwood Springs.
Last week I wrote a story for a LGBT website called Outescapes.com (I wear many hats these days), calling out CNN Travel for its ridiculously awful piece on “otherworldly scenery,” bringing into question, among other things, the quality of the photos and the fact that they produced it from free labor instead of travel writers (“iReporters” aka reader submissions). I argued that the Grand Canyon should have at least had a mention – I mean, come on – and last weekend’s adventure into the Rockies produced another otherworldly scene the boys and girls of CNN missed: The fall scenery at Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon.
The turning of the leaves made a routine and popular hike (in terms of what the Rocky Mountains offer) seem like I had stumbled onto another planet, the colors bursting from the trees in a way that was almost overwhelming. It was incredibly moving, and if there was ever a moment in time that would serve as the perfect setting for a new utopia, this just might be it. I know the fall colors occur every year and aren’t exactly breaking news, but the truth is that most city dwellers and warm-weather climates miss out year after year on one of nature’s most spectacular shows.
This fact – that places and scenes this beautiful exist in nature and someone might go their entire life without ever seeing them – is perhaps the most saddening thing I’ve learned from traveling. If these photos don’t inspire you to get outside this week as we near mid-October, you can officially consider yourself a lost cause.