The beginning of summer greeted the North Country this week with heavy heat, topping out around 90 degrees.
Some of us are grateful for the heat after our long winters, but those kinds of temperatures can get dangerous if you're not careful.
According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, there were 20 heat-related deaths in the state in 2011. People with existing health issues, the elderly and the young are most at risk.
Kids jump in and out of Lake Colby.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
NOAA suggests that when temperatures get high, people should avoid strenuous activity, dress in lightweight, light-colored clothing, avoid too much sun exposure and make sure to drink plenty of water.
Don't forget to keep an eye out for your pets. Don't leave your puppy in the car, and make sure they are getting plenty of water.
Here we present, in no particular order, some of our own ideas for beating the heat:
One of the best parts of living in the Adirondacks in the summer is there's no shortage of water. Hit up your favorite lake, pond or river.
-Go for a swim and practice your underwater backflip techniques.
-Head out on a boat or jet ski, with or without a fishing pole and some bait.
-Float around on a tube, in still water or give it a try in the river. For a controlled experience, try floating down the AuSable River at AuSable Chasm - check out www.ausablechasm.com for details.
-Give whitewater rafting a try.
Stop at one of the many ice cream stands around the area like Donnelly's in Lake Clear, Skyline in Tupper Lake, Mountain Mist in Saranac Lake or Emma's Lake Placid Creamery.
Or better yet, make your own frozen treats.
-Making your own ice cream with bits of fresh fruit is a fun alternative.
-Experiment with freezing a banana on a stick and add various toppings like chocolate or nuts.
-Get creative by freezing substances other than water in ice cube trays. Try yogurt, juice or pudding.
Have a frozen margarita, pina colada, daiquiri or other cocktail on the porch at one of the many wonderful dining establishments in the area. Just be careful not to drink too much alcohol, and have plenty of water in between. Stay hydrated!
Hop on a motorcycle and go for a ride. Those 55-plus-mile-an-hour winds will cool you down in no time.
Put your lotion in the fridge so it cools down before you slather it on that sunburn. Try the same with the sunscreen you bought after you got your first burn of the year.
Take cover. If you don't have air conditioning at home or don't want to run it 24/7, go somewhere that does have it.
- Go to your local library and read a book or do some research on cold topics like the science of ice or the logistics of being cryogenically frozen.
- Take in a movie at your local movie theater. The small movie theaters in the area like the Palace Theatre in Lake Placid and the Adirondack State Theater in Tupper Lake are facing a tough time right now as they have to upgrade to digital projectors or have a rapidly decreasing amount of options for movies to show, so support them (and their air conditioning).
-Visit a museum like the Olympic museum in Lake Placid, the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake or The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, where a new exhibit called "Planet Adirondack" opened a week ago.
Cool down with a favorite winter passtime that you might not think of in the summer - go ice skating in Lake Placid's 1980 and 1932 rinks, run by the state Olympic Regional Development Authority. For information about times when there is open skating, go to www.lakeplacidskating.com.
Have a safe, sunny summer.