by Mike O’Malley

Photo: © Harold McKay

Ask any kid in Almonte where the best place to swim is,  and  “The Bubble” is the likely answer.  If you haven’t heard of it, The Bubble is the area of the Mississippi river between the upper falls (below the old town hall)  and the old train bridge.  What makes the bubble so great?  Water temperature for one thing, a thin film of water that runs over the sun-baked rocks makes for bath-like temperatures,  extending the swimming season from May through October.

The namesake feature is another; the bubble-like lava pillow rocks provide  easy walking  and natural pools  below,  an ideal  place to lounge on a summer day and wonder why spas exist.

For the adventurous there is the double-dog-dare train bridge to jump off (hey, who hasn’t ?)  Access is another bonus: with a skip and a jump from the river walk, kids of all ages venture into this summertime haven, without a cover charge.

Is The Bubble safe? Who’s to say, but kids have been swimming there for generations without incident.   The Bubble offers something to stir the heart of every kid, including me, the elder kid on his deck overlooking this summertime tonic of endless bubbling water, happy squeals and laughter.

I have been following with interest the town’s process of developing an official recreation plan, and hope this natural wonder, our unofficial waterpark and family amusement area in the middle of Almonte, receives recognition. Oh, by the way, this is also the feature Enerdu wants to dynamite and turn into a hydro project.  Is it just me, or is that not in the community’s best interest?   Ask any kid. It’s stupid.  SAVE THE BUBBLE!