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A Snowshoe Trek From An Adirondack Mountain Summit


The vision of butterflies conjures thoughts of spring, but we're not there yet. This winter in New York's Adirondack Mountains, temperatures have often hovered around 25 or 30 degrees below zero. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann set out for a trek on one of those cold days. Here's how it went.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: It's mid-afternoon. I am heading up the trail to the Mt. Arab fire tower. Just a blessing of a day - and there are just great marshmallowey piles of snow and the sky is blue. And there's sun coming through, sending these great lines of shadow through the bare trees.

I'm on my snowshoes today. It's bright and there's no wind, but it's still wicked cold. When I take off my mittens to adjust my snowshoes, I can feel the metal burning the tips of my fingers.

It's quiet enough that I can hear that real north country sound, which is the trees kind of cracking and creaking with the cold.

It's kind of dramatic, right?

It's so interesting how different things are this time of year. The trees make different sounds. The air feels so different. The light is different on the snow. It's beautiful, but it also feels a little dangerous. The cold has a hard edge. I can feel it even through my thick boots and my padded mittens. The only thing keeping me warm is the hard work of wading through knee-deep powder as I climb.

After a pretty good long slog of actual trail breaking, I'm here at the summit. The fire tower's back behind me. Wow, wow, wow, wow. The snow-covered lakes - just ivory colored. The sky looks like a summer day. There are just sort of summery clouds and this great cheerful kindergarten-painted sun.

It's stunning, but I only sit for a moment before the cold gets me moving again. For NPR News, I'm Brian Mann in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Brian Mann is NPR's first national addiction correspondent. He also covers breaking news in the U.S. and around the world.