It’s an 80 degree day with humidity in the 50 percentile range – who wouldn’t want to be soaking in a cool body of water? I grew up in Northern California with a swimming pool in the backyard. I was spoiled for two reasons – the pool was small and old but was always ready to use during the summer. The other reason is the dry summers of Cali. On a hot day, as long as there was a breeze I was just fine. And I had merely to wait for evening when it would invariably cool off and we’d get a welcome break from high temps.
When I moved to Northern New York almost 20 years ago I simply was not ready for the high humidity of summer. Over the years I have learned to adapt, enough so that I can keep up a very active lifestyle through even the hottest days. But I sure do miss that swimming pool – not to mention the beautiful Santa Rosa plum tree growing beside it and dropping intensely flavorful and ripe fruit all summer long.
My ideal summer days in the Adirondacks have come to include a dip in a cold mountain river. Start the morning early with a hike into St. Hubert’s and up Indian Head for a view of the Upper and Lower Ausable Lakes… then to the Keene Valley air field to throw around the aerobee while we have a handful of Ranier cherries… the best part is walking across the road, towel in hand, and wading into the Ausable River.
The water is cold and rushing along in a wide open area of the river. I love to just linger in the water, either wading carefully into the fast part below the old, broken down dam – or just floating on my back in the shallows above. On the very hottest days I could spend an hour just floating.
Another favorite swimming spot is in the Bouquet River where it crosses Route 73. I have dipped in the Bouquet even as late as October… Believe me, the water is very COLD in October. Unlike the Ausable River near the airfield, the Bouquet River in this area forms deep pools with huge boulders and small waterfalls. It is the kind of wild and lovely place one dreams about when far away from the Adirondacks.
After a dip it’s amazing how long you feel cool, even on an 80 degree day with 70 percent humidity. It resets your mind in a way that nothing else can…
Living along Lake Champlain there are numerous wonderful spots to enjoy a dip in the lake but it simply doesn’t compare to submersion in a cold Adirondack stream!