Pool: Juniper Aquatic Center
Good News: Two pools: 25 yard indoor and fifty meter outdoor. It's cheap- about two bucks. All the typical accoutrements and a jacuzzi.
The Bad News: The mirrors in the locker rooms make you look fat.
Details: Love this pool. However, Oregon is a freaky state (Exhibit A: lots of women sporting a full head of armpit hair) and the swimmers are no exception. They swim down the left side of the pool and trust me, you will forget this. Circle swimming puts you on a constant alert. Every flip means you have to realign yourself or crash head-on into a local. I try to swim when I can get my own lane.
- Grants Pass
The Good News: 25 yards, six lanes, indoors, pace clocks, lane ropes kickboards, pull buoys.
The Bad News: Grants Pass. Go, and you'll see what I mean.
Details: Well, I prepared for the worst and I got the surprise of my life. After a rash of overheated Y pools in the Midwest, this slice of heaven in southwest Oregon gave me the hippy-happies. It's shaped like a two pronged fork. The left prong is for water aerobics and the right prong is for lap swim. The clocks are high enough to be seen at both ends and the water is crisp and cool, like I like it, baby! Deep throat gutters swallow every wave and the water feels like it's been worked out in. It sloshes around your head like it's seen some serious training by the swim team. Wow.
Pool: Douglas County YMCA
The The Good News: 25 yard indoor pool, jacuzzi, funky green Dolphin kickboards, six lanes (all roped), two paceclocks.
The Bad News: Roseburg gives me the creepy crawlies.
Details: This Y is the only reason (besides an empty gas tank) to stop in Roseburg. It has two pools, one cold for the lap swimmmers and one warm for the aerobics ladies. Like Grants Pass, the water feels swimmed in and it's cold enough to make even the likes of me kick up the intervals.
Pool: Metropolitan Learning Center
The The Good News: Paceclock, and the pool has water in it.
The Bad News: Sit down.
Details: For variety's sake, I like to review as many non Y pools as possible. The MLC is a city pool in the basement of a school built in 1915. Bad vibes already. How many fifty meter pools were around during the Wilson administration?
So I walked in, and the lifeguard looked up from her Spin magazine and sneered, "how did YOU get in here," like she both knew and hated me. I broke down the concept of the door by explaining that when I pulled on the shiny knob protruding from that large wooden panel, a hole opened up in the wall and I walked through it.
She rolled her eyes and returned to Spin.
Hmmm. What can I say about a 3 lane, twenty yard pool besides "thanks but no thanks". Go to...
- Pool: Metro YMCA
The Good News: Paceclock, 25 meters, indoors, kickboards, buoys, and it's six lanes across.
The Bad News: The water is a tad warm.
Details: A 25 meter Y pool! The twenty first century has arrived at the Young Men's Christian Association. There are always a few lap lanes open, but if you get stuck swimming while the water aerobics ladies are bobbing, bring your dramomine. You'll be a-bouncing. There is a master's team that works out early in the morning, before God wakes up and right around the time I fall asleep.
If you have a weak stomach, skip this paragraph. You're still here? Ok, I warned you. The biggest grossout of my year happened when I had to split a lane with a weirdo guy who had a most disgusting green globule hanging from his nose. He was totally unaware of it AND trying to engage me in conversation. Then he wiped his nose and it was gone...floating somewhere in our lane. Pray, dear reader, pray for chlorine.
- Pool: Dishman Pool
The Good News: 25 yard pool, lane ropes, clocks, indoors, equipment, cheap- two bucks, I think.
The Bad News: You probably have to circle swim.
DetailsAll I remember is a sign over the jacuzzi announcing that you need a proper ID to enter it, as if they've had a rash of escaped prisoners taking dips in the whirlpool.
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