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Beach Camping in October

Fall foliage in northern NY.

Booking tent camping on a beach in October in northern NY is a gamble. One never knows if it will be beautiful or rainy (normal gambles in tent camping) or if it will be snowing. Not as pleasant imho.

Still, Chris and I have been trying to get back to Southwick, our favorite beach, for about three years now, and the only date that worked was early October. We took the plunge and booked it, figuring that if the weather was horrible, we could always just not go (and figure we were still supporting the state park). This is the getaway I mentioned in my last post.

We received a gift. There’s no denying it. Rains pummeled the east coast for several days prior to the trip. Then, on the day of our departure the rains subsided to “mist pellets” (as Chris calls them). By the time we got in the car after work, the sun decided to break through the clouds.

Two absolute glorious nights and a day. Temps in the low 70s (21° C) during the day — not too hot, not too cold. And the nights didn’t dip below 55 ( 13° C).

Tarpless tent on beach

Looking at the forecast, we realized there was 0% chance of rain so we didn’t even put the tarp over the top of our tent. Every time we woke up during the night, we saw glorious stars overhead. Not great incentive to actually sleep, but somehow we managed to get rested anyway 😉

We set up camp in time to do a bit of reading while watching the sunset:

I was doing everything I could to not think about work or electronics. I even brought a real, paper book! But I still couldn’t escape. Do you see it?!?!

(Slack is a major communication tool we use at work.)

Somehow I was able to get beyond that and focus on the beauty of the night — actually not hard at all. haha.

Pastel colored sunset on the beach

The view out our tent wasn’t bad the next morning, either.

View of water from tent

We awoke as the seagulls were prepping for the day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many taking off at once:

We took a six mile hike on the beach without worrying about time or appearance. After three miles we hit the inlet and found a log that looked like a crocodile. It reminded me of an alligator mobile Chris once created (more of his work is on his site):

On the way back to our campsite we remembered decades of good and bad times on the beach. Hikes with Dad Pollock before there were trails. The day we had to take Dad to the hospital straight from a beach trip. Planning weddings. Talking about grandchildren.

There were also all the countless trips we took there with cousins and other relatives. And camped with friends. One time we were even stupid brave enough to take 15-ish teens camping for a few days. Good times. Good times.

Seasons change and life continue in all its beauty. We giggled at the running sandpipers and watched butterflies drift by.

Butterfly at Southwick  Beach.

Back at camp we did nothing all day. Just talked, read and slept and watched people play on the beach. Amazing, am I right? We didn’t even really cook much. Mostly we sampled from the “snack tray” Chris made for me while I was reading.

The first night was pastel and peaceful. You can hear the waves lapping.

The second night was more vibrant:

Vibrant sunset at beach
Chris and Chrissie selfie at sunset

Sunset over the water

Aside from summer temperatures and fall colors, I loved listening to the rustle of leaves as I slept. It sounded like a light rain even as we watched the stars. My friend Stephanie had mentioned a very cool app called Sky Guide. Our son, Hudi, had shared a similar app years ago, but I couldn’t remember which one it was. We used this app to identify Jupiter and Venus and a multitude of other stars and planets. It was definitely a getaway to remember.

And guess what? The day after we got home…it rained. Indeed, we were blessed.

It’s an amazing place. As you can see, I’ve written about this amazing place several times over the years…

11 replies on “Beach Camping in October”

That comment makes my day. I wrote it with the goals of hoping to bring joy and a sense of peace to readers as well as keeping it as a happy place for me to come back to when I’m stressed. So glad you liked it.

What a gorgeous getaway, Chrissie! Your beautiful photos and descriptions are spot on and make me envious. I’m sure you needed this respite from the usual stuff.

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