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EARLY SNOW WHITENS SCENE FOR LEAF-LOOKERS IN THE ADIRONDACKS

As usual, tourists have streamed here to the Adirondack Mountains by the busload as leaf colors reach their peak. But Wednesday's view wasn't gold and red and yellow -- it was white.

"It was raining when I went out for my walk, and then I got about five minutes down the road and I'm going, this isn't rain, it's big chunks," said Kirsten Brockway, who works at U.S. Luge headquarters here. "This morning I was trying to look out my window, and I couldn't see a thing. It was snowing like crazy, and it was foggy."

The snow stopped by midday. According to the National Weather Service, snow fell all across the high peaks of the Adirondacks. Accumulation totaled less than 2 inches, according to government weathermen. But the small amount didn't stop fun-seekers.

Brenda Goulette of the Olympic Regional Development Authority said one of the agency's employees was videotaped by television news crews skiing down the highway.

"I guess there was a few inches. She didn't hit any concrete," said Ms. Goulette.

Up at the bobsled and luge runs on Mount Van Hoevenberg, Reed Miller figured winter might just be starting a little earlier than usual.

"It's been snowing most of the day," Miller said. "It's been trying to accumulate above the 2,800-foot mark, but it keeps losing it every time it stops. Beyond that, it's just been kind of cold and blustery and the white stuff falling out of the sky all day."

And still quite beautiful in spite of it all.

"The leaves are still up there, believe it or not. They're being tough this year, they're hanging right in there," Miller said.

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