Thurston County residents beat the heat, enjoy the sunshine Tuesday

jpawloski@theolympian.comMay 14, 2014 

There were no lifeguards at Long Lake in Lacey on Tuesday, but that didn’t stop swimmers from enjoying the water on one of the warmest days this year.

Swimmers Chayse Boring and Kyle Andrews, both 18-year-old seniors at South Sound High School, said the water wasn’t even that cold. “It feels good,” Boring said.

Lacey recreation supervisor Jenny Wilson said Tuesday that Long Lake is open to the public, but lifeguards won’t be on duty there until June 21. Boring and Andrews joked that they prefer having no lifeguards and “no rules” at the lake, so they can do flips off the pier.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Green was selling $2 sno-cones in the lake’s parking lot to supplement her income and put her son through college. She joked that with the weather changing so quickly in the Northwest, she has to make cash in the sun while she can.

“We’re in the Northwest. Our weather is crazy,” she said. “We only have a small window to do it in.”

The temperature reached 80 degrees in Olympia on Tuesday, short of the high temperature of the year of 88 degrees reached on May 1, said Johnny Burg, spokesman for the National Weather Service in Seattle.

The 80-degree high also was short of the record for May 13 of 88 degrees set in 1973, Burg said.

Burg added that Thurston County residents should get out and enjoy the sunshine while they can. Sun and warm temperatures are forecast Wednesday and Thursday, with temperatures expected to reach the mid-80s both days. After that, cloudy, cooler weather is expected to return.

Locals who were lucky enough to have Tuesday off had no problem finding activities at Olympia’s Boston Harbor Marina, where kayak rentals were doing a booming business, marina operations manager Clayann Lankford said.

The marina boasts a spacious wooden deck leading to the boat slips where visitors can purchase beer and watch the sun set over the Olympics. Darrel Anderson and his grandson Lukas, 4, sat on the marina’s beach, which also is available to the public, before returning to the deck, where Lukas enjoyed an apple.

“It’s a really nice place to bring family or just relax,” Anderson said.

Lankford said the marina was sold in March to Boston Harbor residents Cam and Kevin Foster-Keddie. The new owners are bringing a number of new activities to the marina this summer, including paddleboard rentals, Friday beer tastings sponsored by local brewers and breakfast buffets every Sunday starting on Father’s Day.

Closer to downtown Olympia, Paul Simmons, director of Olympia’s Parks, Arts and Recreation Department, said that the fountain at Heritage Park was closed Tuesday until 4 p.m. because of landscaping work and will be closed as usual Wednesday. However, the fountain will be open all day for children to frolic in on Thursday and Friday, he said.

Olympia’s Park, Arts and Recreation team, including Simmons, Jonathon Turlove and Stephanie Johnson, said maintenance crews have been busy all spring preparing Olympia’s parks for residents to enjoy this summer.

Evergreen Park at 1445 Evergreen Park Drive has an outdoor bocce court for residents to enjoy, and the skatepark at Yauger Park will be busy all summer, Johnson said. Kettle View Park at 1250 Eagle Bend Drive SE has a new tennis court, she said.

The brand new park at Artesian Commons on Fourth Avenue downtown offers patio seating for residents to sit and sample tasty items for sale at the food truck, and parks like Priest Point Park offer shady places to get out of the sun, she added.

“This is a good time to get out and explore your parks,” Johnson said.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445; jpawloski@theolympian.com

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