Contact: Thomas Hottman
During the winter, outdoor swimming in Klamath Falls continues, which is not something many towns can brag about, even those in Western Oregon's milder climes.
This is the east side of the Cascades. Even in a warm climatic cycle, it still gets cold. Ice forms. Snow (we hope) falls. People ice-skate. Snowmen occasionally appear.
And still, like ghostly images, swimmers make their way through the steam above and the 84-degree water below to finish laps at Ella Redkey Pool.
It probably makes a better picture if there's snow in the hills surrounding Klamath Falls and the people walking the bike path behind the pool can see and hear the ice crunching under their shoes. But the swimmers are kept warm by the pool's geothermally heated water.
The pool is one of Klamath Fall's treasures, though the effort to keep it going at times has been a struggle requiring the efforts of a white knight — such as Sky Lakes Medical Center and the Jeld-Wen Foundation — to keep it going.
It's also why it was good to read the latest financial report about the pool is headed in the right direction. At last week's Klamath Falls City Council meeting, the council was told the pool's revenue is at $155,000 and on its way to meet a $172,000 budget figure by June.
Keeping the pool going will always require an effort. But as well as being a recreational outlet that is heavily used, it's a heath benefit and something Klamath Falls needs.