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Hikers In New York's Adirondack Mountains Wish For An Endless Summer

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Where are you right now - rubbing the sleep out of your eyes, getting ready to face another workweek, maybe doing a mental checklist of all the stuff your kids need for the start of school? How about holding on to summer for just a little while longer? Maybe a little hiking, some swimming - sounds good, right? Brian Mann from North Country Public Radio takes us deep into New York's Adirondack Mountains.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: I set out in the early morning, the day already hot. I hike miles through sun and forest, thinking the whole time about cool water.

(SOUNDBITE OF CREEK BABBLING)

MANN: I just love the way this trail kind of weaves and winds with this creek. It just keeps opening up into these little pool grottos and compositions of rock and ferns.

I'm on the trail of Peaked Mountain in the southern Adirondacks. There's no sign here summer is fading. The grass in the open meadow seems to glow green, like paint wet from a brush. I come to a little pond.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS TWEETING)

MANN: I've broken out into the open now, just below the mountain. There's a kind of spiraea blossoming along the shore - pink, purple fronds, a bit like cotton candy.

(SOUNDBITE OF FROGS CROAKING)

MANN: I leave the pond to the frogs and the wildflowers and scramble higher, hopping from boulder to boulder. In a birch forest, I find a flock of chickadees. Hermit thrush call back and forth.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS TWEETING)

MANN: I've climbed up to the top of Peaked Mountain, this one really wonderful view of the southern kind of foothills of the Adirondacks. And I can see this whole chain of wetlands.

The trail down the mountain skirts the wetlands and leads to a cloud-swept mountain lake. I'm hot and sticky, so I strip to my hiking shorts and dive in.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING)

MANN: I swim on my back, sun on my face. Sometimes the best of summer comes near the end - one more hot day, one more climb, one more long swim across an alpine lake.

Brian Mann, NPR News in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.