Posts Tagged ‘Swimming’
Thursday, November 13th, 2008
Portland Bathing Suit Store? Yes, Popina Swimwear has you covered. Swimwear in Oregon? Isn’t it rainy, yes, that is why we need to get out for vacations. Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, wherever you are headed, it is cruise season and nothing gets you in the mood more for your tropical destination than to transport yourself to Portland’s Bathing Suit Boutique.
Popina features PDX’s largest selection of swimwear for women. Plus Popina has great cover-ups, hats, chemical free sun tan lotions and a great selection of sun glasses. All of our products are offered at a range of prices for people shopping at all price ranges from high end lines like Tommy Bahama to budget (check out our famous $5 bin); we always have a selection of discounted swim suits, we currently have a large selection of bathers at 50% off in the shop.
Popina features large, comfortable, well lighted cabana style dressing rooms and staff that have a swimwear expertise. All of our staff participates in the cutting suits for our own Popina Swimwear line.
Thursday, August 21st, 2008
Willamette Riverkeeper is the Advocate for the River of Portland the Willamette. Popina Swim Wear is proud to be a corporate partner of Willamette Riverkeeper and looks forward to continued work to clean up the Willamette so one day it will be a safe place for people of PDX to go swimming.
Check out the Willamette Riverkeeper web site to see the different programs they are working on including Habitat Restoration and the grand daddy of clean ups the Portland Superfund designation - how embarrassing right? Let’s clean up our River Now!
Is it so crazy to think that the people of Portland should have a river within city limits to go swimming? The Sandy River is great for tubing and swimming, so is the Clackamas River, but both of these Rivers are a 25+ minute drive from downtown Portland. Consider the great atmosphere on the River and getting out of the River after tubing or swimming at a safe spot like the Sandy or the Clack. Now imagine going for a float, maybe putting in at Sellwood or Willamette Park and getting out downtown at the Salmon Springs Fountain. Damn Straight, that would be fun.
For the last couple of years I have parparticipated in my favorite Portland event the Portland Challenge where Jay Boss Rubin leads a group of River Lovers on a swim across the Willamette. When I have told people about the event I get disproportionate share of “you are crazy”, “that is disgusting”, etc. The simple powerful act to bring attention to the idea that we should not be crazy to think that swimming in the Willamette is possible is amazing and I really hope that Jay Boss Rubin kicks this event up again next year!
At Popina you can become a member of Willamette Riverkeeper by simply adding a membership to your purchase. But do not wait, become a basic member today for $35 and help be a part of rescuing the Willamette and reclaiming it as a recreational gem for our city.
Thursday, August 7th, 2008
Boise Swimsuit Shop EveryWear now carries Popina Swim, Swim over and get one before the summer is through. Boise, Idaho is a great outdoor recreation town for swimming, there are lots of great places to swim, run and hike along the beautiful Greenbelt trail, you can even take your bathing suit out for a tubing the Boise River which flows right through the middle of town!
The Boise Greenbelt links over 850 acres of parks and natural areas along the Boise River, including a 25-mile long bicycle and pedestrian path. Year-round visitors can see songbirds, ducks, Canada geese, great blue heron and bald eagles in the winter. Wildlife viewing is best in early morning or late afternoon. Along the Boise Greenbelt are Barber Park, Municipal Park, Julia Davis Park, Ann Morrison Park and Kathryn Albertson Park, all offering a variety of recreation for visitors.
EveryWear does a lot more than provide Boise Bathing Suits, first priority is Casual, Outdoor Lifestyle clothing featuring Patagonia, Lole, Horny Toad, Chaco, Keen, Moolaboola and Royal Robbins.
EveryWear is located in Boise’s ultra cool North End in Hyde Park.
So if you live in or near Boise, Idaho run over to EveryWear for a local opportunity to try our swim wear on in person.
Thursday, June 12th, 2008
Belknap Hot Springs, is a great weekend get away, or a place you could easily spend a week checking out what in my mind what I thought Oregon would look like before I moved to Portland. Very lush, green, forested, simply beautiful. Belknap, an hour east of Eugene is a developed hot springs resort that is accessible to any budget. Belknap offers many lodging options ranging from hotel rooms in their main lodge to secluded camping spots by the McKenzie River and all points in between including RV spaces, and cabins ranging from single room to large enough to sleep 10-12.
First time I visited Belknap was in 1999, at the time I had just got engaged to my husband and we were undecided where to have our wedding, after touring the beautiful grounds of Belknap we knew this would be our spot.
Belknap features two hot pools, one is directly behind the main lodge adjacent to the McKenzie River, the other is the “upper” pool which is closer to the majority of the cabin sites and the upper gardens. The lower pool is definitely more scenic and worth the short walk if you are not staying in main lodge.
Lower pool pictured to the left, upper to the right.
There is a bridge that takes you across the McKenzie River to extensive gardens (this is where we got married). There is a Japanese garden, a Secret Garden with an amazing gravity fed fountain and a huge meadow area with an abundance of plantings. The story I heard is that the owner (ex-logger) loved Butchart Gardens in Victoria and that inspiration guided the development of the grounds and wanted to emulate the Butchart Gardens feel in Oregon. Across the clearing from the Japanese Tea House we planted a Hemlock Tree at our wedding (it should be about 10 feet tall by now). To check it out from the Tea House follow the path into the woods that cuts through the center of the grassy area, our tree is just to the right before the path takes you into the woods.
There is lots to do at Belknap, outside of vegging out by the hot springs. Outside of exploring the beautiful gardens, the McKenzie River Trail runs through Belknap. This trail is absolutely amazing. When you start on the trail you go along side road 126 for a little while, but you quickly tuck into the woods along side the amazing McKenzie. When the sun shines on the river you see the most amazing hues of green and blue.
Belknap is right around the corner from probably the most amazing scenic drive in America mile for mile the McKenzie Pass which starts off in the most lush of lush Oregon dominated by Douglass Fir, peaks out at the pass at a volcanic lava field where you can see 5-6 mountain peaks on a clear day and virtually no trees then slowly transitions to the drier climate of Central Oregon and Pines and drops you into Sisters a quaint Western feeling town.
Also make sure to check out Clear Lake where you can rent boats…..
And Sahalie Falls right up the road for an amazing double water fall hike.
Enjoy your trip and be sure to rub our tree for good luck!
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
Bagby Hot Springs is the closest outdoor, forested, hot spring to Portland, approximately an hour and a half drive from the big city. This is a bathing suit optional hot spring.
I typically consider hot springs in two general categories, primitive and developed. Both have their place and time and both styles have degrees of success in their execution. In order for a hot spring pool to be formed there is typically some human intervention involved ranging from diversion of cold stream water with hot spring water contained by rocks and sand to form a pool to digging out a swimming pool sized hole, lining that hole with concrete.
Bagby is the most developed, primitive hot spring I have visited and it is executed beautifully. It is as if the professor from Gilligan’s Island wanted to install a spa for the Howell’s this is what it might look like.
The setting is quintessential West of the Cascades Oregon, located in the Mount Hood National Forest. The hike to the hot springs is a moderate mile and half through old growth forest. The hike is mostly level, once you get close to the end of the hike there is a decent uphill grade, so you will know you are getting close once you start climbing up hill.
Friends of Bagby accepts donations from visitors at a collection box at the entrance, it is unbelievable that there is not a fee to visit Bagby, please suck it up and donate what you can afford to help support Friends of Bagby who maintain the site as volunteers.
Driving Directions: From Estacada, drive south on Highway 224 for about forty miles. Watch for a sign indicating Bagby. The sign leads to Forest Service Road 63. Then watch for Forest Service Road 70. Turn onto Road 70 and go about ten miles to the parking area and trail-head. The last three miles are the hardest as the road turns to gravel and becomes very narrow. From the parking area, signs point to the 1.5 mile trail. The trail can be slippery in the spring, so wear shoes or boots with good traction. One additional word of guidance: Near the end of the trail you will come to an unmarked split in the trail. Go left over the bridge. The hot springs is directly ahead.
Saturday, May 17th, 2008
Summer never really feels like it has arrived until you can jump in the pool and swim. Right down the street from Popina Swim & Sport is the ultimate community pool, Grant Pool. Grant Pool is open to the public and is adjacent to Grant High School in Northeast Portland. The City of Portland offers swim lessons for children lead by pool lifeguards, many who are Grant High School students. Be sure to check the swim schedule before you go to be sure it is an appropriate time to go for what you are looking to do. Depending on the time of day there is anywhere from 1-6 lanes of lap swimming open if you are looking for a work out. The lanes can get crowded some times and I have definitely experienced some lane range, from swimmers who are either too slow or too fast for others in a shared lane, but if you time it right (a good time to go is close to the end of a lap swimming session) the lanes are less crowded, realistically best you can ever hope for is sharing a lap swimming lane with just one person. My best recommendation is to allow time to chill out in a lounge chair with a book and wait till a lane thins out a bit. It seems like an unwritten law that everyone seems to get the idea to swim at the same time you do, so let them go first!
Every day has the fun party quality of the employee pool hour from Caddyshack where kids can bring their favorite floatation device, participate in a swim lesson, go down the slide and sometimes even jump off the lifeguard chair.
Save some room for a slushy from the concession stand. The opening day for Grant Pool is June 16!
Friday, May 16th, 2008
The Sandy River is a great local swimming spot. Of course being Oregon the water never gets super warm but when the temperatures reach the mid to upper 80’s the Sandy River provides great relief and I have always found that after the tough initial plunge in I get used to the water quickly.
The Sandy River is about a 20 minute drive from Portland. The quickest way to get to the Sandy River is interstate 84, take Exit 18 to Lewis and Clark State Park/Historic Columbia River Highway. A great alternative to I-84 is Marine Drive which hugs the Columbia River, on a clear day you can get great views of Mount Hood on the way. The day of the week you visit and your river pleasure will give you direction on where to park.
Lewis and Clark State Park is your first opportunity to park and provides free parking as such this stretch of the river is always be the most crowded. Typically the only time I park at Lewis and Clark is when I am tubing, in that case, this is a great place to park as you need two cars to shuttle back and forth from your put in. More on Tubing later…
Your first right headed east you can go over a narrow bridge to Depot Park. This park is a City of Troutdale Community park with a nice beach, however this area tends to get very crowded very quickly and has limited parking. The best time to visit this park would be during the week - I would not recommend this park on weekends.
Proceeding east on the Historic Columbia River Highway (past the narrow bridge) there are many turnouts where you can have a little piece of the Sandy (more) to yourself. Be careful of where you park, last summer I noticed new “No Parking” signs. Once you find a suitable place to park, be sure that you have a decent pair of shoes to hike down to the river. Most of the access is higher on the bank and can be slippery.
For tubing, I recommend going with two cars, parking one at Lewis and Clark State Park and putting in at Dabney State Park . If you want to make a day of it, Dabney has a Frisbee golf course that I have not tried yet, but looks really fun. There is a $3 day use fee. In the past I have found it a bit of a bummer to have to pay to enter a state park that you would think our taxes would pay for. In the end I suppose it is a use tax, but at least this park is very nice. There are lots of amenities, a nice beach, trails, the Frisbee golf, and lots of great picnic areas. The other advantage of the day fee and limited parking is that the park is never too crowded, particularly when you consider a healthy number of cars in the lot are parking just to shuttle for tubing. The tube ride is approximately two hours you go over a few minor rapids but it is mostly a nice relaxing float. When you float by keep your eyes out for places you might want to come back to swim if your just looking for a place to take a dip.
Much further up the Sandy is Dodge Park. I have not tubed this stretch of the Sandy yet, but it is my personal goal to do so this summer! Hard to believe but this 14 acre park is actually owned by the City of Portland Water Bureau! Decades ago an old trolley line took hundreds of visitors from Portland to the park for quick get-aways from the city.
The major downsides to the Sandy can be littering, it is really nice to bring a trash bag along to collect a little. It can be very crowded at times, and often there can be unleashed dogs that have inconsiderate owners who don’t control their dogs properly.
The upsides are that it is a great opportunity to connect with the river and cool off, plus there is always great people watching and a fun opportunity to have some random interations with people either floating by if you are on the beach or being a floater.
On the way home I would recommend stopping by McMenamins Edgefield a great place to stop for a handmade brew you can drink outside at the Loading Dock Grill. Be sure to check out the new Ruby’s Spa where the geniuses at McMenamin’s have built a new outdoor heated soaking pool that is very nice. I would not necessarily recommend this in the summer, but maybe a fun preview of an activity for the fall or winter. While there be sure to tell them that your friends at Popina sent you. We sell some of our our one piece bathing suits at Ruby’s Spa.
This just the tip of the iceberg for recreational opportunities on the Sandy River. Go out and explore and create your own favorite place! But this will definitely get you going off on the right foot.
If you would like any personal tips on swimming at the Sandy please do not hesitate to ask me when you visit my Portland Swimwear Shop.