Ange and I are both covered in very itchy, very uncomfortable poison oak. I woke up last Monday and my eyeballs were nearly swollen shut. It was not good to say the least. After a trip to (not so) Prompt Care I am on some high dose steroids and antihistamines and am starting to finally feel better. Ange is suffering through and is on the better side of things as well.
In our quest to find relief we decided to check out one of the local "swimming pools" in town. It's a tricky thing because the sun and heat and sweating makes it feel worse, but cold water makes it feel better. Luckily Sycamore Pool in Bidwell Park let us find relief with a perfect combination of factors.
I must say, Sycamore Pool is pretty bad ass as far as pools go. It is actually a portion of Big Chico Creek that has been blocked by a dam and has a large concrete area that creates a pool-like atmosphere. It is of course filled with creek water instead of chlorinated water and it doesn't have heaters or filters or anything fancy, but because it is blocked at two ends it is cleaner and less treacherous than you would expect a creek to be. It is also GIANT. Much bigger than most community pools. It goes from a fairly shallow children's end to a fairly deep end before it returns back to the creek.
The pool has to be cleaned weekly due to the build up of silt and gravel from the creek and the Friends of Bidwell page has a really great description of the process. We went on a Wednesday (the pool is cleaned on Thursdays) and it was definitely slick and a little icky feeling on the bottom of the pool. After going in and wallowing around in the algae and silt I opted to put my Tevas on and go back in. Much better. The best part is that it is in the middle of a park so there were lots of shady areas both away from the pool and in the pool (where trees were close to the edge of the pool) so we could stay out of the sun. And the water in Big Chico Creek even in the middle of summer is quite frigid so it felt wonderful on our itchy skins! Oh, and like pretty much everything else in Chico that is awesome, the pool is FREE! Sweet!
Here are some pictures from the pool: