We walked to The River this afternoon with park-friends Raina and her son Louis.
Cold is an understatement.
Water temperature: 58 F with a current of 1.8 K
Air temperature: 81 F
The River is fed from run-off from snow-covered mountains, and it has quite a strong current. The warning signs were very persuasive, and we were glad to know that the lifeguards were on duty and took their jobs very seriously. They loan out free life jackets for anyone who wants them, and there is even an ambulance parked in the parking lot at all times!
Louis, Molly and Zoe were not given a choice. We moms would not allow even a toe into the water with wearing it. And it turned out to be very wise advice because within the first 5 minutes, Zoe lost her balance, and the current caught her before I did! I was facing the other direction when it happened, but she was in arms’ reach.
The beach was very steep, and there were a LOT of people there. Most of the little kids were wearing life jackets, but not all. Lots of teens taunting each other to get all the way in the water, and boys bravely swam to a sand bar off-shore. We played on the rocks to the left, and the water over there was slightly warmer than right off the sandy beach. Of course, the rocks were slippery, too, which added an element of fun. Some teens were sliding off the rocks into the current, which looked like fun, but I didn’t want to get all the way in, nor did I want Annie to try.
The lifeguards were dressed in full wet suits and a floatation vest, similar to a SCUBA BCD. There were two on duty at all times, and they used a surf board to patrol the water. While we were there, a lifeguard raced across the river on the surf board to rescue a dog, who got swept away! When he returned, he was muttering about how “people” just don’t realize how swift the current is. It made me even more grateful for the life jackets. I think we will be buying one for Zoe to have with us at all times. I am very relieved that this is the place we chose for our first river-experience. I would never have known.
We had a lot of fun, and we look forward to going there often. The water level will go down in the coming weeks, and it will get warmer. So far, the kids like our location!