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As summer comes to an end, one last swim in the Adirondacks

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

All right. Summer is slipping away, so we're going to spend the next few minutes soaking up what is left of the season with North Country Public Radio's Emily Russell. She hiked up to a pond in New York's Adirondack Mountains for one final swim.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS FALLING)

EMILY RUSSELL, BYLINE: We just had a bit of rain in the Adirondacks, so the trail's a little bit spongy. And there's ribbons of blue in the sky now. The sun has come out after a couple of days of storms here.

I'm climbing up to a remote pond called Cooper Kiln. The forest around me is covered in big, leafy green ferns. And the air is buzzing with the sound of late summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF INSECTS BUZZING)

RUSSELL: I start to sweat as the trail gets steeper. The summer air is warm against my skin, but there's enough wind to keep me cool.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING)

RUSSELL: The breeze is so beautiful, kind of sweeping through the forest in these little bursts of air.

That air vibrates through the woods, picking off orange and red maple leaves and sending them floating to the ground. Autumn is already approaching the Adirondacks.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER BURBLING)

RUSSELL: I've come across this beautiful little babbling brook that runs through the trail. Dax, my dog, has stopped to get a drink of water.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG LAPPING WATER)

RUSSELL: As I climb higher, the forest around me starts to change from maple and birch trees to deeper, hardier evergreens. And then it all thins out.

Yeah. Oh, this is good. I can see the opening through the trees now. Wow.

That opening reveals a bluish gray pond. It's shallow enough that the sun is streaming through the water and lighting up the big rocks and tree stumps beneath the surface. I'm alone up here, so I strip down and lower myself into the pool of mountain water.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING)

RUSSELL: Oh, my God (laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING)

RUSSELL: It is blissful.

Oh, my God. It's cold but so good.

For NPR News, I'm Emily Russell in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Emily Russell