During the last week of September, autumn color spreads across northern Vermont. Photographers, searching for the best locations and the most scenic small villages, should drive in a large loop around the northern part of the state. From Stow, Vermont, head north through Smuggler's Notch over Mount Mansfield through the crossroads at Jeffersonville. Cross the river, turn east, and follow Route #109 to Waterville where you’ll head north to Montgomery Center and turn right on Route #58 through Hazens Notch State Park to find this narrow, unpaved road through a dense forest of autumn color. You'll see the best color late in the afternoon.
Along the California Coast are large groves of tall cypress, a wonderful subject for photography on a foggy day when multitudes of vertical tree trunks disappear into the mists. Arrive mid-morning, wait for the sun to burn through the top of the fog banks, and you’ll see long rays of sunlight streaming down through the forests, a magical sight.
Red Rock is the most popular destination for locals looking for weekend recreation. If you fly into Las Vegas, pick up a rental car and head west on Highway 215 to Charleston Street, the northern entrance to the loop road into Red Rock Canyon. Or you can take Blue Diamond Road heading west to enter the canyon on the Isouth end of the loop. The Red Rock Canyon loop road follows the base of a mountain range that is one of the most dramatic backdrops for any city in America. It is filled with trails and a scenic loop road that climbs into deep canyons along the Sandstone Bluffs.
Fort Point sits under the southern anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge. This brick fortress was built by U.S. Army engineers from 1853 to 1861 to protect the mouth of San Francisco Bay from any hostile fleet. The fort is open to the public. Climb the old cast iron stairs to the upper levels of the fort that was once manned by 150 soldiers and armed with 127 huge cannons. Through the openings to the right of each of the arches in this photograph is a small gun opening. There’s a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge, looking straight up from the top level of the fort. On a rainy or foggy day, the soft, diffused light through these arches fills dark shadows with detail. There are rusty old details of ironwork and cannon to photograph. Now protected by National Park status, rangers on duty in Fort Point wear the uniforms of the Civil War era.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.