Lawn Chairs in the Middlesex Fells
Daytime temperatures have been in 90's or higher now for several weeks in New England and I'm having motivation issues. Seriously, hiking, even on the high peaks in New Hampshire, is hard to get excited about in this weather, especially when you factor in the increased thunderstorm activity that occurs in July and August.
A few years ago, I got caught in a summertime thunderstorm on a mountain top along the Long Trail. First, it got really dark out, even though it was just mid-afternoon. Then lightning bolts started hitting the trees near me and I was pelted with golf ball sized hail. It was scared out of my wits, but had the sense to discard my metal hiking poles and cower under a dead tree until the storm passed. Since then, I've learned a lot of about weather forecasting in the mountains (which create their own weather) and cloud reading, so I'm less fearful of a storm coming up on me unexpectedly.
The parts about hot weather that really get to me are staying hydrated and sleeping on hot nights. Still, if you want to cool off in the dead of summer there is nothing quite like camping out next to a frigid mountain stream and spending the day swimming along a beautiful river.
I can remember a trip I took that followed the Wild River a few years ago where we did just that, one afternoon, and to this day, I still take note of good swimming holes when I find them in remote spots. So maybe a camping trip is in order after all! It might be nice to do a little walking to find a remote spot, but spend the rest of the weekend, alternately soaking, reading, and snoozing, alongside some gorgeous mountain river. Yep, that might just be the ticket.