The Sun Sets in Malone
Why Malone may be one of the best places to appreciate the setting sun.
I saw a joke the other day from someone who lives in Florida. Winter is hot, spring is hotter, summer is hottest, and autumn is still hot. While that may be nice for those who may like the feeling of an air-conditioned room, it must get boring for those who enjoy the beauty of nature.
Autumn is one of my favorite times of year (disclaimer: I say that about pretty much every season because there is so much to see and do and revel in). One of the most known facts about our region is that we have phenomenal fall foliage. The trees are already starting to show their vibrancy with reds and oranges hidden amongst the deep greens of their summer coats. Leaf peepers from around the world head to our area to be a part of the majestic changing of seasons.
However, there is another part of autumn in this area that is not as spoken about. It's another version of the changing of the earth's rotation where hues of red and orange peek through and create amazing views. It's the sunsets.
The science behind it.
The science of change is beautifully brought to life in the area that we live in. Not only does Earth orbit around the sun in a somewhat elliptical fashion, the Earth tends to tilt on its axis during this time which gives us our seasons. It's the reason that different hemispheres experience different seasons--one hemisphere is more directly exposed to the rays of the sun (summer) while the other is less exposed (winter).
But in order for sunsets to occur, there must be a rotation of Earth on its own axis--what we call day and night. When the Earth spins, part of it is directly facing the sun and part of it is facing away. The sun is always shining, just on different parts of our planet. Night is basically the absence of the rays of the sun.
Sunsets occur when the sun's rays take a much longer path to be seen by the human eye. When it is daylight in the Rockies it is sunset in the Appalachians. While the Rockies are seeing direct sunlight, and therefore a blue sky, the Appalachians are seeing sunlight that has been "scattered" so the light left is different hues of red.
But enough about the science behind it (it's quite fascinating for the nerd in you). Malone and the area is home to some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. Despite the myths that pollution may increase the vibrancy of a sunset, clean air is actually the main component common to the most beautifully colored sunrises and sunsets.
The Adirondack region is known for its abundance of clean air which gives us a leg up in the sunset competition. We are also located right between the 44th and 45th latitude so the final product during this time of year of Earth's tilting on its axis, rotation on its axis, and distance to the sun to enable the proper scattering of light, Malone is set-up for success when it comes to sunsets.
Here are three of my favorite places to revel in the beauty of the setting sun.
Where to see it.
1. Brainardsville Road
Driving west towards Malone on Brainardsville Road (Route 190), one can catch a delightful sunset. Right on the cusp of Clinton and Franklin county where the road leads to an almost perfect due west, the autumn sunset happens to the right of the road, just over the horizon.
On the straightaway it's very easy to pull over to the side of the road and get a beautiful view of the setting sun, the vibrant hues of reds broken up only by the wind tower farm silhouettes that add to the beauty. It's a place that you can find peace for a few moments as the road is less travelled than the parallel Route 11.
2. Center of Town.
As you head into Malone on Route 11, take a moment to enjoy the hues of the sunset in downtown. Right before you hit the slight valley on the banks of the Salmon River is a small plateau of road between the historic First Congressional Church and the old railroad towers.
At this point in the sunset journey you can't see the sun over the horizon because of the downtown buildings, but that's what makes this place for sunset viewing spectacular. You are left to only see the colors in the sky of the leftover rays. It's an added bonus if there are clouds in the sky because the sunlight reflects off of them and adds extra beauty to the warm colors.
3. Mo's Pub & Grill.
The third place to view a spectacular sunset in the crisp autumn air is at Mo's Pub and Grill's outdoor patio. Because of the airfield to the northwest of the restaurant, there will never be any buildings built that could interfere with the view.
Watch the sun set over acres of farmland; this is the best place to see the sun actually hit the horizon and you can watch the entire process of the sky turning from vibrant oranges and reds to deep hues of blue and purple.
You will find that watching the setting of the sun is time well spent and beauty that you can always look back on and realize what a spectacular area we live in. Pictures could never do it justice--you will have to experience it yourself.
But don't forget the leaves!
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