In reality, the Anniston man said, a day at Coldwater Creek Memorial Park would be just as much a treat for himself as the 4-year-old splashing around in the shallow water.
“It’s a little cold for me,” Toney said, with just his toes stepping off the dry land into the creek. “But it seems to be just perfect for the kids.”
Toney was just one of dozens at the Coldwater Creek Memorial Park in Oxford Saturday afternoon looking for a way to beat the heat as summer finally looks to have hit Calhoun County. Mid-week the sunny days finally started reaching temperatures more than 90 degrees after a rainy Spring.
Saturday’s temperature didn’t quite reach midweek highs, which made it a perfect day to spend the morning with his 8-year-old granddaughter at Mount Cheaha, said Wayne Faulkner.
“Just enjoying the outdoors,” Faulkner said, watching his granddaughter in Coldwater Creek, where they had stopped on their way home to Shelby County. “I knew this was a good place to get your feet wet.”
But Calhoun County residents looking for a more typical beach day other than just splashing around, were probably better off heading to Crystal Springs Lake in Wellington. Garry Watkins, who along with his brother Billy were opening up the destination on Alabama 204 Saturday morning, said a typical weekend in the summer months can see up to 300 people take refuge from the heat at the lake, which features a café, snack bar and volleyball court.
“It’s a place where you can bring your family,” Garry said. “It’s a safe place to have fun.”
And just after opening time at 9 a.m. Saturday, the dirt parking lot was already starting to fill up with regulars looking to enjoy the weekend.
“I’ve been coming here two years,” said Thomas Padgett. “It’s got everything a family needs to have fun. Grill, kids’ zone, diving areas. Awesome place.”
And it’s not just the weekends that see the regulars come out. Half-sisters Emily and Carisa Allen said when school’s out for the summer, they go take a dip in Crystal Springs Lake several times a week.
“We just like to swim, have fun,” Carisa said. “It’s a different place, that’s why I like it.”
Those who didn’t get a chance to enjoy the sunshine Saturday might be out of luck for a little bit. Weather forecasts predict rain and thunderstorms in the area throughout the upcoming week.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.