While Kristin is on a bit of computer-time sabbatical, some friends are helping out with guest blogging. Here's some suggestions on outdoor swimming ideas from Anne Laufe.
I spend a significant part of my summers searching for good swimming holes. Despite the enormous amount of rain we receive each year in our emerald oasis, finding a perfect place to take a dip isn’t so easy. Over the years, however, I have discovered numerous spots that meet my admittedly high expectations. The days are getting shorter, and the nights a bit cooler, so take my advice and head out soon for one of the spots described below. You won’t be disappointed!
Our dog Alice, a golden retriever/German shepherd mix, loves going to Kelley Point Park, located in far North Portland where the Columbia and Willamette Rivers meet. Although she has webbed feet and looks like a black lab, Alice doesn’t like to swim. But she does love splashing in the water, fetching balls thrown close to shore, and rubbing her wet body in the sand.
Dogs are supposed to be kept on leash in the park, but once on the beach, nobody seems to care.
My kids (ages 11 and 13) and I also enjoy getting in the water here. We stay on the Columbia side of the park, sticking to the idea (maybe a fantasy) that the larger river is less polluted.
After hearing about the Lewisville Regional Park for many years, I finally made it up there last weekend. It’s on the Lewis River in Washington, just north of Battle Ground, about a 40-minute drive from our house in northeast Portland.
The river is beautiful and calm, especially at this time of year when the water is low. The main swimming spot is near the Hemlock parking area. Here you’ll find picnic tables, a sandy beach, bathrooms and a rope swing on the other side of the river.
A quieter place to spend a sunny afternoon is at the end of the road. Kids love jumping off the huge fallen tree and splashing about in the pool below it. If you have water shoes, bring them. The bottom of the river is rocky – and dotted with crayfish.
Strong swimming skills required
One of my favorite close-to-home swimming spots is the Sandy River. We drive south on Crown Point Highway, a mile or two past Tad’s Chicken and Dumplings (a local landmark I have yet to try) and park in one of the pull-outs on the side of the ride. A steep climb takes us down to a narrow sandy beach and the river.
We only swim here late in the summer, because the current is swift and the water cold. But on a hot August day, there’s nothing like the cooling river cascading off of Mt. Hood to cool us off. Lots of people float the Sandy in inner tubes and rafts; we often just lie back and let the water carry us – no water craft required.
Anne Laufe is a freelance writer, parent, and avid school volunteer. Working out with Kristin made her summer backpack trip to the Three Sisters Wilderness Area seem like a walk in the park!