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Postcard From The Adirondacks: A Paddle And A Climb In The Wilds Of N.Y.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, let's take a break from the news, at least a brief one, to get in touch with nature. Brian Mann of North Country Public Radio has been canoeing and climbing through the Adirondacks in upstate New York.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: We set out on a shimmering morning, paddling our canoe across Lake Lila past big stands of white pine and birch, piles of gray-blue rock.

NICK MANN: Well, we've had wind, but otherwise easygoing - beautiful clear skies, blue.

B. MANN: That's my son Nick who's home from college. It's so hot, he's stripped to his swim trunks, his hair bleached by sun. This is a trip we've always wanted to make, paddling this wild lake to the base of Frederica Mountain, then climbing to the high bluffs. The views are supposed to be epic. After beaching the canoe, we bushwhacked through steamy, buggy woods. In one clearing, we passed through a cloud of dragonflies - thousands of them. It's like a rain shower, only the bright droplets whiz past in every direction. The trail leads up and up, finally opening to a stage of rock, a kind of balcony...

N. MANN: The expanse of Lake Lila sort of spreading out, hills and beautiful sand beaches.

B. MANN: Yeah, it's really big, big, big country, not a human footprint in sight.

It's hard to believe this is New York. After eating lunch, we trek back down and turn our canoe to one of those sand beaches. The water is still cold as snow. And after a hot day of paddling and climbing, it's time to swim.

N. MANN: Oh, yeah.

B. MANN: Nick goes in first. Then it's my turn.

Swimming with my boy in a mountain lake - there's no better summer trip than that. For NPR News, I'm Brian Mann in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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