One Last Hike Of Summer A reporter takes a hike along a bird-rich wilderness trail in the Soda Range high in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

One Last Hike Of Summer

One Last Hike Of Summer

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A reporter takes a hike along a bird-rich wilderness trail in the Soda Range high in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Summer's winding to an end. Children are headed back to school. But there's still time for a weekend escape. Let's go for a hike - ouch, my bunions - in New York's Adirondack Mountains with North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: So I've been hiking for about 40 minutes. Now I'm in this high meadow forest, tons of ferns, just immense wildflowers everywhere. Just the whole trail is sort of speckled in color, amazing. And as you can hear - well, let me stop for a second and let you listen. It's just completely still.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS CHIRPING)

MANN: I've come to the bank of Lost Pond.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS CHIRPING)

MANN: When you get to this first rock ledge, it is just a crazy payoff. You're looking out over horizon to horizon, the high peaks giant, and then just valley after valley, big and lit up green.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS CHIRPING)

MANN: I'm still hiking on this high woodland trail. And what's different here is that I'm essentially passing through this cloud of birds.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS CHIRPING)

MANN: And I think what's kind of inspiring is that the sunlight is just pouring into this dense high hemlock forest.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD CHIRPING)

MANN: And there's that guy.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS CHIRPING)

MANN: Nothing like a blue jay or a grouse exploding out of the brush to wake you up on a hike.

I'm sitting on the summit of Big Crow Mountain. And the rock is warm. I have the whole summit to myself. And there's a cool breeze blowing. I don't think there's any conceivable better way to spend a Sunday - by yourself, up on a mountain with a good sandwich and a good book and lots of hours. So that's where I'll leave this day. For NPR News, I'm Brian Mann in the Soda Range in the Adirondack Mountains.

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