An excerpt from Afoot in Connecticut, Chapter 17: The Winds of October by Eric D. Lehamn, now available!
At Hammonasset that October day, the great sphere of ruby finally sank over Long Island, and we strolled back through the mainly deserted campground. A few brave groups huddled around fires, quilted blankets draped over their legs, sipping hot drinks. They, too, had come to this post-season campground, drawn by the same thing we had been. What was it? I wasn’t sure, and perhaps it was foolish stubbornness to want to draw out the summer with an autumn camping trip on Connecticut’s browning shore.
Back at the tent, I cooked soup and tea, while Amy prepared sleeping bags and warmer clothes for the sub-zero night. The branches of wind-wracked pines swayed around the tent as we burrowed slowly into our bags, munching on crackers and filling hot water bottles. We read poetry aloud to each other in the dim tent to stave off the cold and wind, to light the growing darkness. Finally, as the wind died down, we drifted off into a pine-scented sleep.
In the morning, frost had settled on the rain-fly and we shivered our way to boiling water for coffee and oatmeal, shoveling needed fuel into our inner furnaces. The sun finally warmed our faces and we headed out to the beach again, where fishermen hopefully cast into the surf, a group of budding scientists took notes on the local nature, and a grizzled artist set up his easel in the morning sun. Cormorants sped across the wavetops, so calm now after last evening’s fury. Snowy egrets speared fish in a wading pool, wood ducks dove for minnows with wiggling tails, and a great blue heron wheeled across the brown expanse of the salt marsh slowly, searching for breakfast.
These shore birds were already hard at work, and though they seemed freer, would spend the majority of their time on survival. They would tell me that it was not foolishness that brought me to Hammonasset in October. Such days we must steal from the autumn of work, the endless paper trails and e-mails, the demands of bosses and families. We must snatch them now, before the real cold sets in, the cold that does not respond to steaming mugs of hot chocolate….
While, it is a little ways away from Hammonasset, spend a moment with Eric at the Riventon Inn in Connecticut in this video journal episode.