Heatwave prompts creative ways to cool off
A heatwave is headed this way starting Friday and is expected to last throughout the coming week, according to Steve Pierce of Northwest Weather Consultants in Vancouver, Wash.
"The Pacific Northwest is going to feel the heat for the next week as Mother Nature opens up the oven door in what has the potential to be the longest stretch of hot weather in several years, Pierce said Thursday.
Already on Friday, temperatures in the 90s had western Washington County residents sweltering and trying to come up with ways to beat the heat. Runners took to the roads in the morning to get their miles in early, and folks ventured outdoors to water their rosebushes and raised garden beds as the sun began to rise in the sky.
The Forest Grove Aquatic Center wasn't at a loss for business.
"Patrons have been enjoying their visits this summer especially with the recent hot temperatures," Sherri Mead, aquatic director for the city, said Friday afternoon. "We are anticipating more busy public swims due to the next heat wave arriving, but have not had to turn anyone away.
A couple groups wont be able to escape mounting temperatures this Saturday, July 12.
This years Forest Grove Relay for Life promises to be a hot time as participants walk and jog around the Neil Armstrong Middle School track, raising money for the American Cancer Society. And the annual Hagg Lake Triathlon & Duathlon, which could draw more than 500 athletes to Gaston, will be heat-challenged as well.
As multiple days of 90-plus degree weather begin to take their toll, finding respite gets trickier. Here are a few ideas on keeping ones cool as the thermometer goes crazy:
Head for the Oregon Coast. If you do, plan on it taking a little longer than usual because of the throngs heading the same direction. Pack an ice chest in your car with cool drinks and snacks. Enjoy the scenery along Highway 26 and Highway 101 as you make your way to Seaside, Cannon Beach, Lincoln City, Newport and the tinier towns in between.
Take a dip in the lake. A local jewel, Hagg Lake sits just southwest of Forest Grove in Gaston. Even though a new campground planned for the site wont be open until summer 2015, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy boating, fishing and swimming in the lakes blue waters. About 803,000 people visited Hagg Lake last year, 45 percent from outside Washington County.
Swim at the Forest Grove Aquatic Center for free. Thanks to a generous donation from Papas Toys and the Davis family, a community free swim is offered at the center, 2300 Sunset Drive, every Saturday evening from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event is limited to the first 200 people, so be sure to get there early.
Keep the kids cool. The spray park at the aquatic center is a great place for kids and their parents to frolic in the summer heat. Located beyond the indoor pool on the aquatic center property, it has 14 water features, a grassy area with picnic tables and a sun deck. The spray park is open Monday through Friday between 7:15 and 8:45 a.m. and from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday its open from 2 to 4 p.m.