When it gets hot, which it inevitably does around here, there’s nothing like water to put a chill on the day. Although swimming pools — indoor and out — have become the go-to spots for water play, living in the Rogue Valley gives us access to outdoor swimming when we want it. Have You Heard swam into this subject, asking women, “What’s your favorite place to swim in the valley?”
Umpqua Falls. I really like the creek there. It’s out of the way, and it’s in nature. Normally when we go there, it’s hot and the kids can have a blast. You can sit by the water in the shade and see them playing. The rocks are just incredible. You can actually slide down the face of one or jump into a deep pool.
The Rogue River, of course. I love to go swimming in the river with or without a raft or inner tube. It doesn’t matter. There’s a nice spot in the town of Gold Hill where you can put your lawn chair on a little island and a swimming hole where you can take a dip. It’s right by the bridge off Exit 40 of I-5.
I like the Illinois River. It’s not like a lake, so you can’t swim. It’s more like wading. It’s beautiful, and it’s clear. I’m terrible at directions, so I just usually go with the crowd, and they take me to the special place.
I swim in the middle fork of the Applegate River. The spot is at the beginning of that hike, and you have to go down a steep trail to get to the water. It’s freezing cold, but it’s very clear and lovely under the trees. On a hot summer day it’s great, but don’t go there on any holidays. Lots of people go then. It’s a special place. I can’t put it in words.
Last summer I went swimming in Applegate Lake. It was my birthday. There weren’t a lot of people there, and I decided to swim naked. We’re always so constricted, and I wanted to have the feeling of water on my body in my memory. I’ve decided to go swimming al fresco every year on my birthday.