Gateway National recreation area, NYC

Personal chef hard at work
these are meatless hot dogs

Instead of a solo expedition to the Appalachian trail, I brought my spouse and stayed in the national park in Brooklyn. There were birds, bugs, a dirt bike rally, party boats on the bay and we slept in a tent. In addition to cheffing, Nick was my personal bicycle support service after my tube popped in Sheepshead Bay. Barely slowed us down. 

I was awestruck by the dawn chorus of birds singing and using my rudimentary skills I heard and then spotted the Eastern Towhee, which had alluded me in Prospect Park this spring. Where are the photos, you ask? I didn’t bring my camera. Too much equipment to keep track of when packing for a trip with multiple goals – camping, cooking, biking, birding, and the beach. 

Second only to the dawn chorus is the thrill of arriving at Jacob Riis Beach before 8:30 in the morning. We staked out the best spot and set up our tent for shade. I saw my first American Oystercatchers and the elegant Terns (common, I think) fishing in the surf. Unfortunately I had just read an article about Coney Island water quality and was therefore not swimming, but the breeze and sound of the surf did their soothing work. 

Once the beach started filling up around 11:30 it was time to eat two tacos and bike home. By three we were showered and napping in our own bed.

I am eating peanut butter and leftover marshmallows on hotdog buns for all meals until they run out.

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Author: Emily

Writer/ Librarian

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