Sunday July 17, 2011 was looking like a day I would just rather forget. The inaugural launch of THE BIG FLOAT, of which I am the organizer, was only two weeks away and we were having record rainfall in the middle of July. Things were looking BLEAK, I think all of Portland was unsure if summer was ever going to start.
If you were in Portland that day I think Sunday July 17th was demoralizing for a lot of people. Outside of my weather related anxiety from THE BIG FLOAT, I had also reserved a KILLER picnic spot two months in advance at Barton Park on the Clackamas River for what I was hoping would be a nice hot summer day to float, swim and BBQ with my friends.
For times like this you really have to go high level with your thinking.
The KILLER picnic spot, I paid $60 for? Sunk cost.
Would anyone join me for a road trip for sun? Hope so, not sure.
All I knew was that I was not going to let this rainy day defeat my day epic swimming plans, and I needed drastic action. Summertime is serious business to me and I do not accept defeat easily. So I cross referenced Google maps to Accuweather to find the warmest spot I could drive to and swim that was over 85 degrees. I just might have driven to Boise if I had to. Luckilly for me I found a winner on paper: Arlington, Oregon 130 miles east of Portland on I-84 on the Columbia River a two hour drive from Portland.
Sight unseen we loaded up our cars and headed east to Arilington, Oregon and Earl Snell Memorial Park. We were rewarded with a nice hot partly cloudy 86 degree day and a very charming little town to boot with a very well appointed city park.
Dock located on the east side of the park. The South side of the park has a very nice beach. Dogs are not permitted on the South side but are permitted on the east side, there is a very nice grassy area there.
Here Popina owner Pamela and homegirl Peggy are setting up for a Picnic on the east side, dog friendly side of the park.
I got in a little hoops game with some local kids. It was fun to get a little sweat in, plus my team won (and I was wearing flip flops - not too bad for an aging 40+ slacker dude). After our run we all took a dip off the dock about 50 yards from the hoops court, then fired up the BBQ just on the other side of the hoops court. We were only able to find one public BBQ, might not be a bad idea to bring your own littler grill as a back up. The salmon we made was perhaps the tastiest I have ever eaten (just cooked it in tin foil).
Here is our crew who collectively said “NO I will not allow a record rain to ruin my summer vibe!” Nice job ladies, all sporting Popina, at the time of this writing a few of these ladies are single, inquire within for more details. The beautiful woman in the center wearing the hat, my lover Pamela is taken, sorry fellas.
In closing, Earl Snell Memorial Park in Arlington Oregon is well worth the drive if the weather is not what you want in Portland. I would suggest this swimming spot for June and September when the temperatures are likely a little lower in Portland and you want your hot fix to start your summer earlier or extend your summer later. I will be back, hope to see you there.