As Courtney highlighted in our recent summer guide, this could be the summer you accept the giant river running through your city as a potential swimmin' hole destination. Post Big Pipe, the Willamette should be pretty much turd-free, so it just comes down to how you feel about the fuel sources for all those barges, ferries, and yachts that go floating by all the time. If that feeling is "bullish," and you are looking for an interesting way to shake up your morning workout routine, here's a suggestion:
Starting tomorrow, bright and early at 7 am, the "River Hugger Swim Team" will meet at Cooper’s Coffee (1515 SE Water) to swim across the river and back, which is said to take about 45 minutes. It's spearheaded by the Human Access Project folks, and a $10 suggested donation'll get you an official River Hugger swim cap. According to them mornings are pretty calm traffic-wise, but the group will also be accompanied by a paddler because being run down by a barge is no way to begin your Tuesday morning. Plans are to do this every Tuesday and Thursday morning from now till end of summer, likely expanding to three mornings per week in August.
This is not designed as an A Type swim group, this is a fun, intermediate level swim. The group's goal is to swim together as a pod and create awareness to commuters that it is safe to swim in the Willamette River. For those who want to get a full workout we encourage people to sprint the final stretch distance (once out of the center of the channel) back to the eastside.