AHH SUMMER, a time of vacations and relaxation, of fun, adventure and frivolity exhibited by young and old alike.
But nothing will ruin a perfectly good summer day more than the unyielding heat cast forth from the sun.
When the thermometer outside threatens to broach the triple-digit barrier, people scramble for any way to beat the sweltering temperatures.
THE?WHEELING PARK swimming pool boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a large water slide that one or two people can rocket down at a time riding a raft.
Sure there is air conditioning and staying indoors in front of a fan will help cool down the body.
But nothing does the job quite like a refreshing dip in a cool body of water.
Fortunately for Ohio Valley residents, the options available to take a plunge are numerous.
Naturally, the bigger the city the more plentiful the opportunities. So a short jaunt across the river to Wheeling provides more than a few options for the swimming populace.
The largest and best known option in Wheeling is the pool at Wheeling Park.
Open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily, Wheeling Park boasts an Olympic-sized pool with twin diving boards at its deep end.
It also offers a baby pool for youngsters still learning the proper techniques of staying afloat.
But the main attraction, what perhaps sets Wheeling Park's pool off from others in the area is its large water slide.
For an additional cost, pool goers can rocket down the pool's lengthy slide, designed for 1-to-2 riders at a time.
Riders utilize rafts to pilot down the slides twists and turns.
Nearby, Oglebay Park offers its own option for cooling off.
The pool at Oglebay's Crispin Center is open from 11:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Wheeling also operates a few public pools scattered throughout the city, including: Bridge Park on Wheeling Island, Garden Park in Warwood, Grandview Pool in Wheeling Heights and the 36th Street Pool in South Wheeling.
A quick jaunt down S.R. 2 in West Virginia provides ample swimming opportunities.
Benwood City Park offers a large-sized pool along with baby pool and diving boards.
Continuing south, a pool can be found in both McMechen and Glen Dale.
Glen Dale's Municipal Pool is open from 11-7, Monday through Saturday and noon until 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Moundsville boasts two swimming locations.
The Four Seasons pool in town is open year-round as it houses an indoor pool
Up the hill from Four Seasons is Grand Vue Park will opens for the season Saturday.
Grand Vue's all-new Acquatic Center will be open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily and offers.
In Belmont County, the city pool in Martins Ferry is open 11:30 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m. daily, with opening day slated for Sunday.
Tiltonsville houses the Warren Township Memorial Pool while Powhatan Point's pool and the two swimming facilities across the river in New Martinsville help cool off residents in the southern end of the Upper Ohio Valley.
St. Clairsville's Allen Pool at Memorial Park has been renovated and also boasts a new water slide.
The pool at Barnesville Park is open from noon until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. Sundays.
One of the larger pools around can be found with a little lengthier drive to Claysville, Pa.
Sunset Beach near Claysville is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. It also houses a water slide and diving boards, along with a kiddie pool that has a frog slide.
The options for aquatic recreation aren't restricted to pools, however. Places like Barkcamp State Park provide lake swimming for those with a little more daring.
But for those who prefer the smell of chlorine and ample opportunities to socialize with their swimming, the options for pools in the Ohio Valley are endless.
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org