The Mystery of the Air Conditioned Road

Chillin' Out

There's an air-conditioned road on the Adirondack Coast.

Locals know it as "the cold spot," and unsuspecting travelers on foot or bikes are likely just baffled (or shocked) by it.

It's just a short section of road in Witherbee, a hamlet in Moriah, New York that is characterized by an ever-present curtain of fog. But for those who dare to pass through it unprotected by the hard shell of a car, such as on bicycle, motorcycle or on foot, one will experience a SHARP drop in air temperature while immersed in that fog. 

It's A Mystery... Or, Not.

We won't have to call in Scooby and Shaggy for this one, turns out this mystery has a solution.

See, there's a honeycomb of mines (that's how I picture it, anyway) underneath Moriah - remnants of the now-closed iron ore mining business that flourished in that region from the 1820s until 1971.
 
The mines' current contribution to the area now includes a secret cooling spot in Witherbee. That's right - the Cold Spot is actually air from the former Roe Mine shaft located on the side of the road at that location. 
 
That mine apparently is situated such that warm air goes IN one entrance, and OUT another, meanwhile having been cooled by the typical 50-degree temperature below ground. That's the basis of geothermal technology used to heat and cool residential and commercial buildings today. In this case, if the air above ground is, say 75-degrees, and that cold air from the mine reduces the temperature, and the dew-point, the moisture forms the cloud droplets- or spooky fog- that you can see. 
 
You can find the Cold Spot near the junction of County Route 7 and the Tracy Road in Witherbee. Plan to cool off, naturally, on your next stay in the Lake Champlain Region
 
And you can learn more about the area's mining heritage at the Iron Center Museum in Port Henry!
 

Mine shaft evidence


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