Letter From the Editor: Autumn Adventures

Letter From the Editor
Autumn Adventures

Summer has come and gone. Now we're preparing ourselves for autumn and the cooler months that come with it.
So how are you spending your autumn? Personally, my family and I enjoy getting lost in corn mazes, going pumpkin picking, raking up the dry leaves in the backyard then running and jumping in them and playing nighttime flashlight tag. When the evenings are a little cooler, I usually make up my own scavenger hunt list and send my kids outdoors. The list varies from acorn tops (the ones that look like tiny hats) to a stick that looks like a Y, but the tradition always includes one unvarying instruction: Find an early sign of fall. Even when my little ones were younger, they understood that an early sign of fall meant a colored leaf. Yellow, red, orange or brown would do--anything but green. Then, as the season moves forward, the sun sets earlier, the mornings are chillier, sometimes cold, and there are an ample supply of those pretty leaves, we always plan a family outing. We've picked apples at a nearby orchard, gathered spring water from a stream near Devil's Backbone, took long rides in the country, and hiked through South Mountain. Whether corn mazes, scavenger hunts, or flashlight tag appeals to your family or not, the temperature this time of year is perfect for festivals, hayrides, haunted tours, fruit-picking, or simply strolling around a farmer's market. Summer isn't the only season for getting outdoors!
In this tourism guide issue, we're getting out, taking in the sights, and uncovering the link between tourism and community. I invite you to take a look around Washington County; read about out-of-the-way spots, small historical towns, and visit a farm or two. There are nine towns in Washington County; all have historical references; and mostly all have remaining remnants to wars and colonial villages from long ago. If you're from this area...don't take for granted that you know everything there is to know about the towns that surround you...take a minute...read...I guarantee you'll learn something you didn't know beforehand. If you aren't from this area...welcome and enjoy.
Communities are what you usually don't see when you go to new places. But I feel they are worth exploring. They're the types of places where things happen and memories are made. What about your own community? What makes your community special? Don't you sometimes wish that the people who came to visit ventured beyond the five-star, first-class, triple-A-plus-certified, gas-station-map-marked, number-one attractions? Me neither...but it'd be nice if everyone who came to visit saw your town as a community...and not just a vacation spot.
When you're out and about this fall, keep your eyes open for the unexpected and ask questions. For instance, what's the history behind that cylinder-shaped monument that rests in Boonsboro? Why did Elizabethtown change to Hagerstown? Has Williamsport always been the name of that town? How much do you know about the origins of your own neighborhood and city? Or the neighborhood that blossoms around your favorite autumn fair?
Picket News looks at these and other questions throughout Washington County, Maryland. Even if you already know the town, I urge you to read on. You just might stumble upon an unfamiliar neighborhood or discover a new twist in an old hangout.
Because autumn draws us closer to winter I've included a few "Things to Do" that run clear into the early winter months.
Have fun this autumn and do something exciting...learn something new...have an Autumn Adventure!

Yours in Ink,

Jennifer Leese, Managing Editor