It is a scorcher out there.
We had near-record heat, tropical humidity and a sun bright enough to melt the hat off your head this week.
In fact, it has been so hot, I'm tempted to tell you to lock the windows, crank up the air conditioning and melt into the couch for a few days. But that wouldn't be right. I could never give such awful advice.
Just because it's hot outside, it doesn't mean you need to succumb to the lure of the indoors. After all, Mother Nature has given us all we need to beat the blazing summertime temperatures. Water. And lots of it.
Nothing is more refreshing than a dip into a cool, gently flowing stream when the mercury rises. That's why one of the greatest ways to spend a summertime day is to spread out across an old inner tube and float down the river. Grab some friends, a few tubes and hit the water.
While the Susquehanna is likely the first waterway that comes to mind for many folks in York County, don't forget the nearby Juniata River. It's a tubers dream -- with a nice flow of cool water and plenty of access points.
Because the Juniata is much smaller than the mighty Susquehanna, you're never far from shore. Plus, for the truly adventurous, it offers a slew of islands open to overnight camping. The only thing better than a day spent floating atop the water is two days floating on the river.
If you need a bit more action, leave the tube in the truck and hop on a kayak. Add a handful of fishing gear and you can turn a lazy day on the river into a fishing trip.
The Juniata is one of the state's hottest spots for smallmouth bass. And the Susquehanna offers plenty of opportunity to stretch your line. But don't forget about Lake Redman or Lake Williams in the center of the county. They're prime candidates for kayak fishing.
The trick to fishing from a kayak is to keep it simple. Stick to the essentials -- a handful of lures, a decent pair of pliers and your favorite rod. Anything more and you're making it too complicated.
Finally, my favorite way to cool off when the summertime heat is melting the siding on my house is to grab a fly rod and do some wet wading.
Save the neoprene waders for winter. When the sweat runs from your neck, all you need is a ratty old pair of sneakers and some cut-off shorts.
A local summertime hotspot is the Yellow Breeches creek at the northern end of the county. There are plenty of trout in the cool spring-fed stream to keep anglers happy. But don't forget about the Susquehanna. As the saying goes, it's a mile wide and a foot deep -- perfect for some hot-weather wading.
No matter what you get into when temperature rises, all I ask is you don't succumb to the air conditioning blues. Get outside and enjoy the season.
In six months, when the wind is blowing and the driveway needs to be shoveled, we'll be begging for some warmth. Soak it in while you can.
-- Andy Snyder writes about the outdoors for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.