In Episode 87 of the Wandering But Not Lost Podcast, co-hosts Matt Emerson and Jan O’Brien chat about how focusing on the 5 agreements to live by will transform your life in such positive ways and eliminate unneeded self-afflicted anxiety.   In Wandering Zen, we set the table for you to do some fall foliage exploration.



WBNL 52:  5 Agreements to Live By





These five agreements when followed can really change your life. They are from two highly recommended books:

  • The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
  • The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
    Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
    Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
    Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement you can completely change your life.
    Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
    You have ONE moment, this moment. The past is behind you; the future has not yet arrived. Presence is power. Be here. Be Still. The next moment is already on its way. The past doesn’t change. Put your attention on today and free yourself.

Wandering Zen – Fall Foliage Roads Trips



Autumn 2019 is upon us so it’s time to hit the road to explore and discover some of the very best in fall foliage!




“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus


Hands down, this is my favorite time of year.  The days get shorter and the air begins to cool. Nature is prepping for its second big show of the year.  This constant cycle of rejuvenation is a miracle.  There are a couple of things we need to cover before we jump in the car.  First, do you know the science behind the changing of the foliage?  Take a look at this quick video from Scientific American:



Now that you know the mechanics of the folliage, let’s go to the 2019 map so that you can see when the peak will be in your area.  I was researching these forecasts and, to my surprise, there are many more of them than I thought I’d find.  The video below was created by  Direct Weather, who turns out to be a young man who has been obsesssed with weather since he was 12.  Now at 19 he continues his passion for meteorology and I found it to be a reliable sourse along with the fact that I just love people that have a passion.  I also found this great interactive map that gives a fantastic visual of the upcoming season.

New England wins the prize for being the most traveled place this time of year and it is defintiely on my bucket list but most of my fall wanderering has taken place in California, and yes, there are seasons in west!  Sometimes you just have to look a bit harder. The Sierra Nevada puts on a fantstic yearly show and Yosemite National Park is spectacular this time of year.  As a matter of fact, any of our National Parks would be a great place to start your road trip planning.  Below you will find an article that I found from The Wilderness Society that gives you a quick overview and visual of their top 15 National Parks to visit in the Fall.

You don’t have too go far to get to some great fall foliage though.  Many times there are incredible opportunities right in town.  The very best example of that is Central Park in NYC.  That jewel of architectural landscaping delivers all year around.  Check out your local arboretum or botanical garden – you can find the options closest to you with the American Horticultural Society.

Below, I’ve rounded up some inspiration to get you started, even a soundtrack to play to get you ion the mood during your road trip planning.  Enjoy, and don’t forget to send us some pics from your travels.  You can contact us at

The roads to travel to find color that will blow your mind are endless. Now it’s up to you to make the committment and get out there and soak it all in.  Lock in the images before winter sets in and as you await the rebirth of spring.  Be forever, Wandering But Not Lost!

The following article is from The Wilderness Society

What better place to witness the changing of the seasons than at your favorite National Park?

These 15 national parks offer spectacular fall foliage viewing, as evidenced by these stunning photographs. Find out the best times to visit below, and as always, don’t forget to follow “leave no trace” principles when visiting wild places.



1. Yosemite National Park, California. Unfortunately, Ansel Adams’ iconic black-and-white photos just couldn’t capture fall’s classic colors. But you can with your own eyes from late October into November.

Yosemite National Park, CA

photo: Rennett Stowe, flickr

2. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. You can participate in the Fall Foliage Bike Festival, hike a part of the Appalachian Trail, or spend an afternoon cruising down Skyline Drive. Colors are generally at their best in the later half of October.

Shenandoah National Park, VA

photo: Mrs. Gemstone, flickr

3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee. Spanning two states, this park is at its most colorful between mid to late October. Enjoy yellows, oranges and red as you explore all the outdoor fun this place offers.

Great Smokey Mountains National Park, TN

photo: coloneljohnbritt, flickr.

4. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina. Why settle for one or the other, when you can have both? This scenic drive stretches from Shenandoah to the Smokies and peak fall colors are expected mid-to-late October.

Pisgah National Forest, NC

photo: Kevin McNeal

5. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio. Ohio’s best kept secret, Cuyahoga can be experienced via the scenic railroad. The last two weeks of October offer pinnacle opportunities to witness brilliant reds, oranges and yellows.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH

photo: Cuyahoga jco, flickr

6. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Some say September is the prime time to spy the bright yellow aspens, but you should have through mid-October to catch some stunning vistas. Reflections in Teton’s clear lakes offer double the color.

Grand Teton National Park, WY

photo: flickr, jeffgunn

7. Acadia National Park, Maine. Fall color reaches its prime in late September but can last through October in this northern region. Cadillac Mountain offers the most noteworthy panorama of this highly favored park.

Acadia National Park, ME

photo: flickr, jeffgunn

8. Glacier National Park, Montana. This treasured park is at its most beautiful from mid September to mid October. To get views from Big Mountain, you can hike the eight-mile Summit Trail, or you might try floating through a colorful landscape down the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

Glacier National Park, MT

photo: flickr, Rhock1

9. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. Like other high elevation parks, colors at Rainier begin changing as early as August. Visitors are advised to visit in late September and be aware that the park begins to close in early October.

Mount Rainier National Park, WA

photo: flickr, jeffgunn

10. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Towering mountains may leave many speechless, but in fall there’s only one word needed to describe the landscape – yellow. Bright golden aspens contrast starkly with evergreens, causing many to flock to the area in September, earlier than usual due to high elevations.

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

photo: flickr, Steven Bratman

11. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Every year, photographers flock to the higher North Rim in autumn to capture splashes of color on an unbelievably beautiful landscape. Some parts of this area begin to close as early as mid October, so late September is the ideal time to plan your adventure.

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

photo: flickr, lurw

12. Zion National Park, Utah. This wild paradise becomes more beautiful and surprisingly less crowded later in the year. October into November is usually the ideal time to see the splendor of the season here.

Zion National Park, UT

photo: flickr, CFBSr

13. Denali National Park, Alaska. While it may shock some that a park this far north could be well known for its foliage, it will likely not surprise visitors to see them start changing as early as August. In addition to radiant reds, oranges and golds, Denali also boasts ripe berries in its brief season of fall.

Denali National Park, AK

photo: flickr, Threat to Democracy

14. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. Visitors might be surprised to find such rich colors at a lesser-known park in West Texas.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TX

photo: National Park Service

15. Appalachian National Scenic Trail, from Maine to Georgia.  From September to November, this legendary hiking trail is alive with color. The White Mountains National Forest section in New Hampshire is the most highly recommended this time of year, peaking in late September.

White Mountains

photo: flickr, FredHsu



Zion National Park

Mt Rainier

Grand Canyon National Park

Glacier National Park

Central Park, NYC

Shenandoah National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Blue Ridge Parkway

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Acadia National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Denali National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Mentioned in the Episode (Resources & Links)



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