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Sunny Sunday Play Day Enjoyed By Area Residents
Jake brings the ball back to owner Jerry Bolton so he will throw it again, as Bobby trots in behind. The trio enjoyed Sunday’s spring-like weather at a local community park in Escalon. Marg Jackson/The Times

It was a record-breaking weekend around the region, as temperatures lingered near the 70-degree mark.

While the area is in desperate need of significant rainfall – running well below normal for this time of year – that didn’t seem to bother those who took advantage of the warm spring weather to get outdoors. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic stay at home orders, there were still some limited opportunities for getting out to play, especially around Escalon this past Sunday, Jan. 17.

Escalon Golf Course, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, had plenty of people on the driving range, spaced well apart for the outdoor activity, along with a family on the putting green and some people getting on the links to play the 9-hole course.

“It’s a nice day and I’m just trying to do whatever I can (outdoors) during COVID,” said Modesto resident Adam Gomez, working on the driving range. “I want to get this in before the rains come.”

On the putting green, it was the Kelley family from nearby Oakdale taking advantage of the sunshine and warm weather.

“It’s a nice day today, we went to the driving range earlier and now we are just working on our putts,” said mom Sarah Kelley, there with son Grant, 3, and husband Trevor Kelley.

Grant is a true fan of the game, his mom said, and he was happy to take his turn on the putting green as well, chipping in a close range shot.

Elsewhere, families were enjoying some time at the Community Center Park play area and there were also people setting up an outdoor lunch on a picnic table at the Main Street Park as midday temperatures on Sunday invited the outdoor activities.

In a local community pocket park, Steve Bolton of Escalon was giving his dogs a workout, throwing the ball to be fetched by Jake and Bobby.

“We come over every day,” Bolton said, adding that the park is close to his home and provides the chance for his dogs to get some exercise. Jake, a Border collie-Australian shepherd mix and Bobby, a Queensland heeler, also enjoyed the opportunity to do some through-the-chain-link fence visiting with a couple of dogs in the backyard of a home adjacent to the park.

Along with the warm temperatures, the region also had a high wind warning that was scheduled to last through early Wednesday morning. And the long range forecast does seem to be more January-like, with a 40 percent chance of rain arriving on Friday, Jan. 22 and the possibility of rain showers nearly every day from Jan. 25 through Feb. 1, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

Putting in a little work on the driving range Sunday at Escalon Golf Course was Adam Gomez of Modesto, taking advantage of the sunny weather. Marg Jackson/The Times