By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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As long as I had a sporting event to watch or a valid library card, an entire world of possibilities was available.
I spent many summer days visiting the Port Townsend Library and walking down to Chetzemokah Park to loll about in the well-watered green grass and read.
If I needed to burn off energy
Other days were spent playing tennis-ball baseball, whiffle ball home run derby, the always spectacular but dangerous trampoline basketball (don’t do what I did, kids) or riding bikes at nearby Cappy’s Trails in Port Townsend.
Some kids, however, have issues staying occupied during the summer.
Attention spans seem shorter now but the days are just as long as they ever have been.
With that in mind, what are some more positive options for kids besides going down the road of vandalism, petty theft and malicious mischief?
How about taking a hike, going for a swim or a good, long run?
Some of the following options are perfect time killers and can be used as family activities.
Take heart parents, now that the Fourth of July has passed, the back-to-school specials are just around the corner.
Hurricane Hill hike
The Olympic Peninsula Explorers will walk up Hurricane Hill at 9 a.m. Saturday, and the public is invited to join.
Carpools will form at William Shore Memorial Pool at 225 E. Fifth St. in Port Angeles, and drive to the trailhead.
Hikers can choose a distance of 3.1 or 6.2 miles.
The elevation at the top is over 5,000 feet.
This hike is on well-maintained trails and a short distance along a road.
There is a restroom at the parking area, as well as at the start point.
No pets are allowed on this walk.
Hikers will need a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.
Bring a lunch, water, sunglasses and a camera.
All walkers must sign up by phoning George Christensen at 360-697-2172 or 360-473-8398.
The Cowboy 5K/10K, a fundraiser to “keep Chimacum kids active,” will be held at the East Jefferson Little League field, located at 80 Elkins Road in Port Hadlock, on Sunday.
The race begins at 8:30 a.m.
Runners, walkers and families of all kinds are invited to participate. No pets are allowed.
Registration is $35 for the 10K and $25 for the 5K. The registration cost increases on race day by $5.
Register online at www.active.com and search for “Cowboy 5K.”
For more information, phone 360-990-1806 or email email@example.com.
JeffCo lake swimming
After a good stretch of warm weather, the temperatures in Jefferson County lakes have climbed above 70 degrees, according to Ward Norden, a fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist.
Norden came across this information while bass fishing on a slew of area lakes this past week.
“The most fun of the lakes for swimmers are Horseshoe, Sandy Shore, and Tarboo, all of which are clear with little likelihood of toxic algae,” Norden said.
“Don’t forget to bring a mask so you can look at the fish while they look at you.”
Norden cautions that swimmers should always bring a friend and a flotation device like an inner tube when they venture out in the water.
Myself? I used to go with friends down to swim at Lake Leland on warm summer days.
Even on those rare days of temperatures above 90 degrees, the water off the beach at Fort Worden never seemed to climb into the comfortable-to-swim category.
I also have an aversion to heights that rendered the idea of jumping off the dock at the beach a complete nonstarter.
Doggy paddling around was much more comfortable in water that could be 20 to 25 degrees warmer.
Free swimming day
A free swimming afternoon at the Mountain View Pool at 1919 Blaine St. in Port Townsend is available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Children younger than 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
A free shuttle bus from Brinnon and Quilcene is offered by the Jefferson County branch of the Olympic Peninsula YMCA.
The event is offered by the JeffCo Aquatic Coalition, a partnership between the YMCA, the city of Port Townsend and Hope Roofing and Construction.
For more information on the shuttle bus or the event, phone 360-385-5811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the JeffCo Aquatic Coalition, visit jeffcoaquaticcoalition.org.
Lake Quinault open
It’s a bit of a drive for most Peninsula residents, but Lake Quinault has opened for fishing and boating after a year hiatus.
Lake Quinault Lodge offers fishing, boat rentals and tours of the lake.
Vessel rentals include canoes, kayaks, row boats and there’s even a guided boat tour that provides a historical account of the area, views of waterfalls, old-growth timber and, if you are lucky, wildlife.
The lake is within the boundaries of the Quinault Indian Reservation.
It was closed in April 2013 due to concern related to water pollution, invasive species, public safety and the need to protect and restore salmon habitat, particularly sockeye salmon.
Boat rentals are available through October, weather permitting, at the boat hut on the beach or through the front desk staff at Lake Quinault Lodge.
Boat tours run through mid-September at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Boating safety course
A boating safety course will be offered Saturday by The Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 42 Sequim-Port Angeles.
The class is set for the Coast Guard base at the end of Ediz Hook in Port Angeles at 9:30 a.m.
The class will qualify attendees for a Washington State Boater Education Card.
This card is required for all boaters younger than age 60.
The cost of the course is $15 per person or $20 for two people.
To register, phone 360-452-1135.
Outdoors columnist Michael Carman appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at email@example.com.