Getting the flavor of...
Hiking the Colorado Trail
I was exhausted and cursing the Colorado Trail when suddenly, “the world bloomed before me,” said Allie Ghaman in The Washington Post. In the distance, endless dark peaks “jutted out of the earth, roadless and wild and spellbinding.” Such is the reward of completing a 3,300-foot climb to the top of Hope Pass, and the same pattern of rigorous exertion followed by elation becomes common on the 484-mile trail, which winds through the Rockies from Durango to Denver. My husband and I recently walked the route, and our “bone-deep astonishment” at the mountains didn’t fade, “no matter how many passes we crested as the days wore on.” Mornings were my favorite—eating oatmeal and watching as color poured through shimmering aspen groves. Thunderstorms came like clockwork, but even wet days proved spectacular. Once, dozens of elk passed before us and scrambled up a ridge. “We stood transfixed, rain pooling in our shoes.”
New Jersey’s waterfall city
In 1778, Alexander Hamilton was picnicking atop a 77-foot-high waterfall in New Jersey when inspiration struck. The Passaic River’s powerful waters, he realized, could be harnessed by industry. The city he founded at the site, said Helene Stapinski in The New York Times, “has had a cameo in every chapter in American history.” Once a great manufacturing center, Paterson today is mostly run-down, but it’s still worth a day trip. A “gem of a museum” near the Great Falls showcases Paterson’s industrial history, and ever since the musical Hamilton became a hit, fans of the Founding Father have been making pilgrimages to his beautiful picnic spot, now run by the National Park Service. Some visitors are discovering that, thanks to its large immigrant population, Paterson also offers some of New Jersey’s best eating. I can vouch for the Peruvian deep-fried seafood at Griselda’s; “I haven’t been brave enough to try its guinea pig stew.”