When Pat Laitala of Pine River -- with her short, curly brown hair tied in a ponytail -- got out of her air-conditioned car Monday afternoon at the Westgate Mall in Brainerd you could almost see the sweat ready to pour down her face.
"I feel like I am melting," she said as she walked into the mall.
Laitala said she has a small window air conditioner at home in her television room. The room has become a makeshift bedroom since the temperatures hit the mid-90s in the lakes area.
"My poor dog sits in front of (the air conditioner)," Laitala said. "What can you do?"
Laitala said she has been staying in air-conditioned areas and drinking a lot of water.
Monday's high temperature was 92 in Brainerd. The heat index made it feel even hotter.
The hot, humid weather did not dampen the spirit of 13-year-olds Kelsey Schleppenbach and Michelle Gauerke, both of Brainerd. The teens said they are beating the heat easily and having fun.
The girls, wearing black, bell-bottom jeans with T-shirts and covered in colored crazy string, bought a super-size pop and walked toward the parking lot at the mall.
"We don't like wearing shorts and (the crazy string) helps us ignore the heat," said Schleppenbach. "We are just out walking where ever, it does not matter."
Rebecca Rudd, Baxter, was sitting at the Dairy Queen taking a break before shopping, enjoying the air-conditioned mall.
"I've been staying inside where there is air conditioning," said Rudd. "We've been going to Whipple Beach. There has not been a lot of people there since it has been too hot."
Keith Kolstad, who lives on Gull Lake, was enjoying an ice cream treat. Kolstad said he does have air conditioning at home buts gets a nice breeze off the lake. He said to stay cool he drinks plenty of water.
Movie theaters also have been a popular retreat from the heat.
Paul and Geri Olson and their two children of St. Paul decided to see "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over." The family arrived in the Brainerd lakes area Sunday to spend the week vacationing at Tip Top Resort on the Whitefish Chain.
"There is no air-conditioning there," said Paul Olson. "We thought we'd go to the movies and then get some appetizers."
The Olsons thought they'd spend the peak hot hours in the city and then go back to the resort at night when it's cooler.
Chuck Schroeder, owner of Schroeder's TV and Appliance, said he has sold about five or six air conditioners since this heat wave hit.
"If people can make it to August, they usually won't buy now, especially now when August is almost over," said Schroeder. "Last year I could have sold all the air conditioners I had."
Construction workers are maintaining a good sweat while working on the Highway 210 project.
Scott Hendrickson and Jeramie Carlson, both of Anderson Brothers, said it has been hot. They said they have been drinking a lot of water. Hendrickson said if anyone on the crew feels lightheaded they can take a short break until they feel better.
The crew has worked shorter days during the heat wave. They start an hour earlier and punch out around 3:30 p.m. rather than 7-8 p.m.
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