Summer scoop

If you’re lounging along the banks of Butte Creek, be advised there’s a ban on glass bottles, along with parking restrictions. It’s most crowded near the Honey Run Covered Bridge.

Around the turn of the century (the 19th to the 20th, wise guy), Chicoans with a delicate constitution, or bucks to spare, used to retreat to the mountains and meadows or hang out with the Hollywood stars at Richardson Springs.

This is the first year Chico State will offer summer school courses subsidized by the state. Most of them are business classes; other subjects are available at full-price.

Looking for free entertainment this summer? Check out the concerts in the park, taking place Wednesday and Friday evenings and featuring a wide variety of music, from punk rock to oldies for the oldsters.

Before the advent of air conditioning, most Chicoans cooled their homes with evaporative, or “swamp,” coolers. Many homes still have them. They work well in dry heat and are cheap to run, but when the thermometer gets much over 100, they struggle to do the job. Or are we just spoiled?

Sure, Butte County has a nude beach, although it’s not formally designated as such. In its annual roundup of NoCal beaches where clothing is considered optional, the San Francisco Bay Guardian has given an “A” rating to parts of Butte Creek where body parts wave free.

July is the hottest month in Chico, with a mean (that’s average) temperature of 99 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. August is second-hottest and June comes in a breezy third—though all are in the 90s.

To keep your house cool, open windows at night to let the breezes in, then close them in the morning and pull the curtains, holding cool air in and keeping light out. If you have good insulation, this can keep your house comfortable until well into the afternoon, even on the hottest days.

Watch the Sacramento River come Labor Day, as hundreds if not thousands of student types take to the waters in inner tubes for a day-long float fest. If you’re of age, you can drink alcohol on the river but not its banks.

Has the air-conditioning in your car gone out? Plan on spending $700 to $800 if you need to put in a new compressor and the works. If your car didn’t come with A/C, you’re talking at least $1,000 to install it after the fact.

Like most substances, gasoline expands in heat. To get more summertime miles for your money, fill ‘er up in the cool morning rather than the hot afternoon.

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