Unbeknownst to many, leaf peeping can be very hazardous. Typical dangers arise from gawking drivers swerving over the lines or driving too slow for traffic. Sometimes the reflection of the sun on the different colored leaves can render a peeper temporarily leaf blind, resulting in nearly instant paralysis, particularly when looking at non-pretty things like roads and recent election results. And sometimes leaf peeping will make you fall down.
The Pacific Northwest is not known for its peeping (perhaps more its peeing, as in, on the streets of Portland by, well, everyone it seems). Autumnal colors are not nearly as voracious as our eastern time zone friends but we do see changes and those changes can be moving. For example, while riding last week we noticed some color change, now known as either “beautiful crispness” or “autumn crispness,” (as if the color change of deciduous leaves gives off a visible sensation of crisp, be it the crisp of 39 degrees on a clear sunny day or the crisp of a Bugle snack chip. Now those are crispy.) so powerful that one riding partner drifted off the road onto the shoulder, lost control and toppled over taking down another riding part.
It was a slow motion tumble such that there was time for Ward, the crasher, to say ‘oh shit’ then try to correct, I could look back to see what was happening, she could fail to correct, fall onto her left shoulder and elbow, and Amy, subsequent crasher, could say ‘I’m going to fall on you’ after which Ward could politely respond ‘that’s okay.’ For the record, the leaves she was peeping were white on one side. They looked like they’d been painted, perhaps the road line painting crew went astray and painted the leaves at the top of the 30 foot tree. Probably they were just white. Photosynthesis and shit. Below is a pictorial history of the event starting with a view of the tree and its white looking leaves. Some other pictures from the ride are thrown in for good measure. Perhaps most humorous is that there were so few leaves on the tree in question.