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Summer sizzles: Enjoy it while you can

The Fourth of July has arrived and summer has descended upon the Adirondacks, bringing with it a combination of summer's heat, spring's breezes and a bit of autumn's coolness. Can winter's white be far behind?

Summer in the park is the most fleeting of all our Adirondack seasons. It moves faster than a dollar bill at the gas pump and yet, we savor it all year 'round. It is a time when we all become kids again and we relive the times past.

Soon after the local kids pour out of school and tourists pour off the Northway, the ranks of summer folk begin to swell like the dry wooden planks of an old guideboat.

High humidity will produce sticky days and hazy mountain views while evening temperatures will drop into the 40's, and the black evening sky reveals a wealth of stars beyond our wildest imagination.

Falling asleep to the sounds of the forest, we are entertained by a symphony of the wilds. The bullfrog sings "jug 'o rum," as a loon's wail echoes off the nearby hills and a barred owl asks, "Who, who, who, whooo! Who calls for you allll!"

A clap of thunder and the jagged spiderwebs of lightning serve as a prelude to a deep sleep, aided by the gentle pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof of an Adirondack leanto.

Campers will awake to find a thick carpet of fog enveloping the lakes and snaking through the river valleys. Fresh cut hayfields and the pleasurable scent of a flash, summer sprinkle will bring back memories of younger days, when we rode our bicycles to the local swimming hole to launch ourselves off a cliffs or a rope swing.

Hiking trails will become crowded; beaches will fill full and motorcycles will compete for space on the highways. The sweet smell of barbecue will permeate the late afternoon breeze, as the tang of wood smoke drifts on the brisk evening breeze.

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