Orionid meteor shower from Bear Mountain

Written by Leisure / General, Photography, Tania

Tania and I had driven down to Bear Mountain once again. This time, we were expecting to witness our first meteor shower. We left Jackson Heights at 11pm and drove north east towards the George Washington bridge. Once we crossed the Hudson, we were in search of some warm tea/coffee. We decided to stop by some local gas stations to pick something up.

While driving, we noticed that the roads were clear as crystal. We arrived at Bear mountain roughly at 1:15am and parked the car at the Lake Skannatati parking area. I have to admit, once we entered Bear Mountain I was a bit frightened. Firstly, it was pitch black, and as we drove further into the park, it seemed as though the darkness was overcoming our headlights. Secondly, I was a bit frighted (as was Tania) of the deer population (especially while driving). These little fellas spontaneously sprung out of nowhere.

As we arrived to the parking area, we noticed that there were two other cars parked in it. This made us feel a bit better. We parked right next to the empty cars and began looking out the windshield.

The night was clear. When I looked straight up I could see the stars burning brightly in the sky. But as I looked out south I could see the light pollution from New York City pouring over the mountains. While I was still warm I decided to jump out of the SUV and snap some pictures. I advised Tania to back the car up a bit in order for us to lean against the front bumper.

As I was getting my photography gear ready, Tania admits to seeing to shooting stars. We were very excited to say the least. I immediately focus my attention to the dark sky above me and anxiously await for the next one to appear.

We saw a few small ones while we waited. There wasn’t any thing big, just small streams of light glowing throughout the sky. We decided to get back in the car and watch the rest through the windshield. We backed up and stuck our heads out the windshield. After about 20 minutes we see a car pulling into the parking lot. It headed towards us with bright headlights. As I looked up, I thought that maybe the driver would just pull into on of the slots in front of us. Rather, he drove right to our bumper. It was a cop. Luckily he was very nice. He asked what we were doing, and after Tania innocently replied, “Looking at the shooting stars”, he had advised us to drive to the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area since the part of the park we were in was currently closed.

And so we did. It took another 10 minutes, but wasn’t much of a hassle. Plus, the parking lot at the recreation area was much larger and therefore felt a bit more safe. Also since we were not next to a lake, temperatures felt warmer and it was less windy. We continued looking for stream of light in the sky. Occasionally, we both went “wow”. At about 4:30am we decided to drive back. We arrived back in Jackson Heights at 6:30? Wait, or did we leave at 5:30? I’m not sure. Either way. I managed to get some sleep and then head to work (Tolga).