In case you were away during the month of October, as in Hawaii or the Caribbean, you missed a month that will probably go down in history as one that is best forgotten. Rather than living up to expectations that included blue skies, brilliant foliage, crisp nights and comfortably warm days, October in our region turned out to be a total disaster – much to the general disappointment of many avid outdoors people.
The month started out innocently enough, with foliage beginning to take on its usual brilliance, and we actually enjoyed a short burst of sunny days with no rain. But then the rains and winds came, cleaning the near-peak foliage from the trees and turning the woodlands into drab shades of brown and gray. And just for good measure, temperatures began to take on a decidedly November-like feel, and it basically stayed that way for the rest of the month. I think we could count the days on one hand that we didn't have rain or overcast skies last month, with perhaps an extra digit or two thrown in just so as not to be overly pessimistic.
To say that bad weather plays a major role in outdoor recreation would probably be an understatement. Even with the latest raingear, people tend to recreate far less when there are prolonged periods of abnormally bad weather. Regardless of it being hiking, upland hunting, bowhunting, fishing or, for that matter, outdoor home maintenance, this year's edition of October certainly failed miserably to live up to even modest expectations. Ironically, the best weather all month occurred while this writer was in Plattsburgh for four days attending an outdoor writers' conference.