Whirlwind Weekend – Connecticut Before Sandy

It was two days of quiet before the big storm.

This past weekend in true whirlwind fashion, Mr. Travelbypoints and I packed our small Cambelbaks and headed cross-country for a short tour of Connecticut’s lovely fall foliage. It was not until a few days before our trip that we heard rumblings about a storm called Sandy that was supposed to hit the eastern seaboard right after the weekend. We crossed our fingers and hoped that we’d make it back home safely before her arrival. In our minds, we were still thinking nasty weather – heavy rain, strong winds, the kind of day you just want to curl up with a good book and stay indoors. Little did we know that Sandy would turn out to be a cyclone of such epic proportions - the worst our country has seen in recent memory.

We were fortunate enough to make it back to the west coast Sunday night (with a missed connection along the way) and watched coverage of the storm from the safety of our dry living room. The images left us speechless. The same beautiful stomping grounds of our weekend visit suddenly transformed into morasses of flooding waters and treacherous byways right before our eyes.  

All in an instant.

Mother Nature is capable of inspiring the most delicate expressions of beauty and love, but in that same breath harbors the potential for the most unyielding of destruction.

Initially I questioned whether I even wanted to write about our weekend trip. In the face of so much devastation and loss, pithy anecdotes and pretty pictures from a trip we realize we are privileged to be able take in the first place seem a bit silly. And it is.

But then I thought about why we travel in the first place. For me, it is about forcing myself to stay present and in the moment. The parameters of two days, even less when you factor in the commute, quickly sharpen our experiential canvas in lockstep with the tick-tock of time. But more than that, traveling is also a journey to bear witness to the beauty and majesty of the world around us. As the country begins to awaken from the damage of the last few days, there is no better time to be reminded of this.

With that, I leave you with some scenes that tugged at our hearts this past weekend and a prayer for our friends on the east coast who are undertaking the daunting task of picking up the pieces after the storm.

May they be surrounded by love, light and best of all, rainbows.

***

Scenic Byway to View the Fall Foliage

Scenic Byway to View the Fall Foliage

Connecticut in the Fall

Along a student-guided walking tour of Yale University

Connecticut in the Fall

Maya Lin’s “Women’s Table” – memorial fountain that commemorates the role of women at Yale

Connecticut in the Fall

Boardwalk at Silver Sands State Park

Connecticut in the Fall

Sandbar or tombolo to Charles Island at low tide

Connecticut in the Fall

Charles Island the next day at high tide (the sandbar is no longer visible)

Connecticut in the Fall

Lake Waramaug, a stop along the scenic byway

Connecticut in the Fall

Seashell on Silver Sand Beach (Long Island Sound)

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