Monday, July 9, 2007

But It's Hot Outside...What Can We Do?

Ok, I don't have any data for what I'm going to say, but it is damn hot outside, and it seems hotter on average than it was ten, twenty or thirty years ago. When I moved to Virginia in 1990, we had hot days, but the humidity, as measured by the dewpoint, never seemed to get much higher than a muggy 68 or so. The past few years, that dewpoint number seems to have risen into the low to mid seventies, on a regular basis. For a Virginian like me, What does this higher dewpoint mean? It means it feels like we live in Georgia during the summer, and that for a lot of people, especially kids who grew up in air conditioned spaces, going outside in this weather is not what we do.

The News Journal in Wilmington looks at this issue today.

"Being inside is better, because the air conditioning is better than the heat," said Juliana Panzera, 13, of Wilmington, as she ate a salad at the food court of the Concord Mall.

So there's one more hurdle to getting kids out--the heat.

So, now that I've thrown out the next problem, how do we solve it? One answer that comes to mind right away is the way my friends and I dealt with the heat when I lived in Ct and NH. Waterfalls. Here's a few good ones that I have personally tested:

1) Enders State Forest--The good ole' high school swimming hole. Enders had a smooth rock slide that dumped you into a pool. Great place.

2) Bash Bish Falls, Massachusetts--A great place with a lot of pools. Iremember one place where you could jump 15 feet into a deep clear pool. Of course in today's litigious society, swimming here is probably not allowed. Need to do another field check.

3) The Fallsway, Randolph, NH--probably one of the best waterfall paths anywhere in the Northeast. For more than a mile, follow a mountain brook up into the northern Presidentials, with a waterfall every few hundred yards. Plenty of good swimming to be had. Cold water. Here's some shots by R. Turmelle of one of the falls on the the Fallsway, which I have personally tested in hot weather:

So that's my solution for today...

Waterfalls and swimming holes are pretty common across the country. Because I'm a New England lad, here are some other NE waterfall resources to help you folks in that neck of the woods:

Connecticut Waterfall Site.
Northeast Waterfalls Site.