The wicked summer heat has brought many into agony as we all look for ways to cool off. Okay, so we’re not exactly looking. It’s more like were trapped in the desert southwest and we’re looking for anything but a mirage to help us cool off. At this point, it’s survival! Luckily for many of us here in Litchfield County, we have valuable resources right at our fingerprints, or should I say footprints? Whatever the case, the lakes and rivers in our region are a quick escape that we can run to and dive right in as a hot, simmering steam comes off our bodies as we make a splash into the water. One of my favorite places to go, which is also quite convenient to my house, is Burr Pond State Park, located in Paugnut State Forest. Rising high above Torrington and practically bordering Highland Lake is this majestic pond that is surrounded by towering hemlocks. It is here where people from all over come to spend the day as they soak up the sun, and a little water as well.
I first discovered Burr Pond a few years ago, back when I was 16 years old and in high school. My father had brought me there after I whined and whined about being inside an air conditioned house. I hate air conditioning. For one, it drives my allergies haywire! Being outdoors, for me, just feels natural, no matter what temperature it is. It could be 120 degrees and I’d still prefer to be by the lake. Though if the devil were to appear and the temperature suddenly became anything over that, I’d seek out a cave hoping there wouldn’t be any bears. I have been told I would make a great midnight snack for one of those things!
When we first discovered Burr Pond, it wasn’t as crowded as it gets today. It was a quiet place to seek a bit of refuge from city life. I can remember fondly running into the water with my Abercrombie swimwear having not a care in the world. Back then, summers also didn’t involve a four letter word called work. It was easy living. Then, the real world thing happened and boom went summer vacations and into the workforce I went. To this day, however, I still enjoy my summer days at Burr Pond. For starters, it’s peaceful and it’s a place that has really brought great joy to my life after a long night of work. I say night simply because I work overnights, and Burr Pond is sometimes where I can be caught sleeping on a sunny summer day as I lay out in the sun with my iPod tuning out the world and occasionally taking a refreshing dip into the water.
Some have wondered how I could afford to be at Burr Pond everyday when the state charges an arm and a leg to park. Well, I’m not one to be much of a fool. Parking down at the boat launch and making the hike through the woods along the waters edge is a much more affordable option since you can park at the launch free of charge, but make no mistake about it. I still support the park system by purchasing food from the lovely folks who run the food stand there by the beach. I can’t resist a golden grilled cheese or a delicious cheeseburger, which goes along with a hot summer day quite well if I might add.
So the next time you’re looking to cool off, head outside and beat the heat naturally. You’ll be surprised of just how much fun you could find out there as you’re enjoying a hot summer day in Litchfield County, Connecticut.