Somehow autumn is always a busy time for us. Not summer, but autumn. Right about the beginning of October, weekends start filling up.
Last weekend we decided to take a day off from chores, errands and such and take a little family jaunt. We went up to Bear Mountain State Park, about 30 minutes north of us. It turned out to be a pretty awesome day. We drove up the Palisades Parkway, probably one of the prettier highways I’ve been on. Fall colors, woodchucks rooting around by the side of the road, and best of all, no commercial vehicles allowed.
After checking out the information center for maps, we noticed the indoor merry-go-round. Couldn’t pass on that. Napoleona hung on for dear life, but Duncan had a good time. In addition to carousel horses, the ride features locally indigenous animals like deer, otters and bears. SillyBilly, true to his strange little self, chose a turkey.
Then we ambled by the Bear Mountain Inn, unfortunately closed for restoration, which has (to my jaded, stuccoed California eyes) charming Adirondack-style architecture. The Inn was one of the first examples of “park architecture,” using materials found on site such as stone for the foundations and chestnut logs for the posts and beams.
Then after a snack we walked over to the zoo. All of the animals there are native to New York and have been injured or orphaned. The kids enjoyed the grey and red foxes, swans, frogs and toads…and then there were the turkeys and deer. We witnessed a turkey pecking and chasing a deer away from the food bin…I always knew turkeys were full of themselves! Probably the most interesting were the three black bears. They had many toys to play with; we saw one bear work very hard to get a small metal keg out of a hole in the ground.
We were excited to learn that the oldest section of the Appalachian Trail runs through the park and zoo. SillyBilly has had a mild obsession with the AT after Papa told him about it recently. Then we took a drive up to the summit of the mountain, which by then had become very crowded with people coming for the Octoberfest activities.
Needless to say, there was some snoozing going on in the back seat on the drive home.
And now, some gratuitous pictures of the kids, just because they’re cute and autumn-ey. Besides leaf crowns, we’ve been raking, raking, raking. Then jumping and throwing the piles around and raking them again. During one of the jumping and throwing phases, SillyBilly yelled out, “I’m Mother Autumn!!” as if he were personally responsible for the leaves falling from the trees.