Summer in NYC is hot. The heat radiates from the sidewalks, and while at home in our Brooklyn apartment, we wear as little clothes as possible to stay cool. Last summer, my girlfriend and I started heading upstate with our little dog to check out and cool off in the cold waters of swimming holes, lakes, and rivers in Upstate New York. We love driving, so the quick roadtrip of anywhere from two to four hours in our air-conditioned car feels like a perfectly timed decompression from life in the city. We park our car on the side of winding country roads, then disappear, hiking into the wooded trails where the coolness of the forest blows over, to then eventually emerge at a clearing that feels like a mystical oasis. There’d usually be a handful of other swimmers that came to do the same thing—jumping off rocks into the shocking cold water, floating on their backs, enjoying the summer water even as the occasional snake swims by.