HARVIN COLUMN: It's the dog days of summer - time to get wet
It's the dog days of summer for sure. Days of sweat, thunderstorms that don't cool anything off, pooches that look for any piece of cool concrete to spread out on.
For those of you from “off,” you might need to know that summer here usually lasts until October, but right about now, most everyone is looking for respite from the hot days and humid nights.
So this is the weekend to seek out watery relief. Labor Day is the last weekend that the local county water parks are open, so if you haven't been, it's time to head for Whirlin' Waters in North Charleston, the Splash Zone on James Island, or Splash Island in Mount Pleasant.
Each of these parks has something different to offer, but my favorite is the Lazy River at James Island County Park. It's fun to swirl around on an inner tube, go through the rapids and get drenched by the waterfall. There's no reason to get out unless you count sunburn or thirst.
The water parks are a favorite place to take visitors with children, too, because there is enough variety for every level of the young at heart. My teenage nieces were thrilled with the giant slides at Whirlin' Waters, and it was with trepidation that adults climbed to the top of these towers just to get started. Screaming was definitely involved.
At Splash Island in Mount Pleasant, there's a wonderful fountain and a place for the little ones that makes it easy to keep a watchful eye, even if you don't want to get drenched.
But you don't have to pay money to go in the water. That's the wonderful thing about being at the beach in the Lowcountry. If you want lifeguard protection, this is the last great weekend for the county parks, too.
We have several areas that are safer because of their watchful eyes, and by now, the lifeguards have had a summer of experience. Go to Folly Beach on the right side of the pier, Isle of Palms next to the pier, and Beachwalker Park on Kiawah.
After Monday, the lifeguards will be on duty only on the weekends until the end of September. After all, many of them have their schools to attend, too.
Not sure where else to go to beat the heat? How about renting a canoe and floating down the Edisto. Take a picnic basket and get out on numerous areas along the banks. You can be a regular Tom Sawyer, swinging from branches and ending up in the river.
Or maybe a lake? How about drifting on up to Lake Moultrie, where swimming spots dot the lakes. Bonneau Beach has a nice spot, and the lake is pretty warm this time of year. You also could snag a fishing boat or power ski.
Whatever your style, there's no excuse for hanging around the porch this weekend. It's time to use what the Lowcountry has to offer.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or firstname.lastname@example.org.