Oct 2

October Essentails

Anyone else in disbelieve that it’s October already? I think I might say that every month – or at least I have that thought swimming through my brain. I remember when I was young adult in my life would mention how time s would go by faster as you got older and I would just roll my eyes and know that that’s really not possible. 60 seconds is always 60 seconds, no matter how many years you’ve been on the earth. Now I’m wondering if maybe they were right after all….

At any rate, October is here. The leaves are changing and the weather surprisingly is NOT getting cooler. I’m sure it will at some point, however this year has been unusually warm, I actually went to the beach today and worked on my tan. If this weather pattern stays around long enough, maybe I won’t be pasty at Christmas – but that’s highly unlikely.

It’s also the season of the “Leafers” – also known as the people who travel north to admire the seasonal display of color in our area. We live just a couple miles from the Tunnel of Trees and actually our road puts on it’s own stunning display each year. I’d guess we’re about 2 weeks from prime or peak season, but it’s really beautiful now too.

If you are one of those lucky travelers, here’s some inside information and a kick start for your packing list so you can make your trip as successful as possible.

The Lakeshore has it’s own climate

What does that mean? it’s means that if you’re traveling by Lake Michigan, even if it’s Up North, the temperature may be warmer, the leaves stay green longer and the overall weather might be different than it is 10 miles inland. We traveled to Marquette a couple Octobers back and on the drive there it was miles and miles of barren, brown forests and trees. However, once we reached Marquette (which was much farther north) they still had some color and beautiful scenes since it was right on Lake Superior.

It will snow this month

We’ve now been here 5 years. I’ve kept track every year since being here peak color weekend and the first sight of snow. More often than not, they’re the same weekend or within a day of each other. I am hopeful that maybe the flurries will be delayed since we’re seeing 80 degree temperatures the first week of October, but I’m not holding my breath. Don’t be too stressed though, the snow won’t last and it’s actually really pretty when the colorful leaves and snow mix.

Do your research on places you’d like to visit

I have found that people often underestimate how big “up north” is. There are so many cool places to visit – orchards, beaches, wineries, breweries, scenic drives, etc – but often places can be 1-2 hours drive from each other if you simply Google ____ location Northern Michigan. We’re in Harbor Springs which is where you’ll find the Tunnel of Trees and lots of other cool places (pretty much anywhere you drive past along the M-119 tunnel is worth stopping at, I especially love Pond Hill and the views at Legs Inn or the beach below cannot be beat). However, we’re 45 minutes north of Charlevoix, 40 minutes from Mackinaw City, 1 1/2 hours from Traverse City and 2 hours from the Leelanau Peninsula and all the magical places you’ll find there. So make sure as you’re planning you find the locations on a map and make sure that all your stops make sense and you don’t run out of time.

Pack for all 4 seasons

Back to that climate thing, I wore a winter coat to an orchard a couple October’s back and was at the beach this morning. Temperatures in a single days can swing 30 degrees to layering is key. You really just have to prepare for anything. If I were packing a suitcase to visit here or just trying to make my cottage more cozy this month, below are a few of things I’d make sure to bring along:

  • a camera: this one is my favorite for travel, I love the vintage style and the pictures are so crisp
  • a cozy sweater: layers are a must
  • my favorite jeans: the perfect not too baggy, not too slim jean that’s oh-so comfortable
  • waterproof boots/shoes: I have so many pairs of Sorels, they’re my go-tos for the fall/winter season

I hope your October includes some fabulous travels plans, or just enjoying nature right where you are.


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