How to Plan the Perfect Trip to See Fall Foliage

I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message.

- Steve Irwin

Planning an Amazing Leaf-Peeping Trip


Apples orchards, cozy sweaters, crisp morning air - fall is just around the corner, and hillsides ablaze with the colors of fall are just over the next hill. With a little planning, you can catch the magic of the changing leaves and make wonderful memories this fall.

A leaf-peeping trip can be as simple or elaborate as you like, ranging from an afternoon drive to a week-long trip. Whatever you have in mind, this guide will help you plan your perfect fall color tour.

Location

A quick internet search will bring you renowned driving routes that attract eager crowds, as well as lesser-known, more local suggestions. Consider whether you want to be near parks, hiking trails, lakes, apple orchards, campgrounds, event venues, or a specific city.

Activities

A simple car ride can fill your heart and photo gallery. For a little more adventure, consider canoeing, biking, hiking, horseback riding, ziplining - or a hot air balloon ride! Round out your trip with a visit to an orchard, a harvest festival, camping in the wilderness, or a comfortable hotel room and dinner out. Make any reservations early to ensure your spot.

Timing

For fall colors, timing is everything. There's always a little guesswork when it comes to Mother Nature, but most regions will have fall color forecasts online, and watch the weather. If you can go on a weekday, favorite leaf-peeping areas may be less crowded.

Preparations

Ensure your car is in working order with current insurance and registration. Bring a phone, charger, and paper map if GPS reception may be poor. Dress in layers as temperatures in autumn can vary widely. Bring snacks and drinks as stores and restaurants may be scarce in rural areas. Make a playlist for the trip and bring your camera! The views will be stunning.

Power Strip Safety to Protect Your Home


Power strips are a handy part of everyday life since there never seem to be enough outlets. If used incorrectly though, a power strip can be a dangerous fire hazard. These few simple rules will help you protect your home and keep your family safe.

Use specialized power strips:

- Use a surge protector instead of a power strip for sensitive gaming systems and computers. Add up how many watts you're plugging in, so you don't exceed the capacity of the surge protector.

- For power tools, use a 220-volt power strip with grounded outlets and heavy 14-gauge wire or a heavy-duty extension cord.

Don't use a power strip:

Where it can get wet

- Avoid bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms, and never use an indoor power strip outdoors.

If there's visible damage

- If you see any fraying or discoloration, replace it.

If it's hot

- Prolonged use or overloading can cause overheating which can result in a fire.

That's hidden under a rug, carpet, or behind a curtain

- This can cause overheating, and in the event of a power surge, a spark could easily catch fire when surrounded by flammable items.

That's plugged into an extension cord or another power strip

- 'Daisy-chained' cords and power strips multiply the risk.

If it will be overloaded

- Read the label on the power strip to find its maximum wattage and make sure the devices you plug into it do not exceed that amount. Most power strips are 15 amps, which means they can handle up to 1800 watts in total.

For appliances that use high wattage

These can easily cause power strips to overheat. Plug these appliances directly into the wall, in most cases each should use its own outlet to avoid tripping the circuit breaker.

- Kitchen: refrigerators, microwaves, slow cookers, blenders, toasters, toaster ovens, electric skillets, waffle makers, and coffee makers.

- Bathroom: hair dryers, curling wands, hair straighteners.

- Household: portable air conditioners and heaters, sump pumps, washing machines.


Sources: bobvila.com & wellesley.edu & komando.com

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