Friday, August 27, 2010

Hebgen Lake Swim

Today on our way to West Yellowstone stopped at Hebgen Lake. It was really windy and I looked out at the lake and there wasn't a boat in sight. I thought about the channel and how cold the water might be and figured it would be a good training swim to go to the other side and back. I figured it would be a little less than a mile to the other side. It turned out to be a mile and a half round trip.

I was surprised when I put my legs in how warm it was.  It felt a little chilly at first but nothing to take my breath away.  I figure it was about 67 degrees.  The water was pretty clear, but had alot of small debris in it.  Leaves and small plants, etc...  It was really wavy.  I bilateral breathed most of the way, but not 100%  Once I went to take a breath and got a mouthful of water that actually went down the wrong pipe.  I've never had that happen before where I wasn't able to stop it before it went in the wrong way.  I stopped and coughed it up.  Nothing major.

When I got to the other side I got completely out of the water, checked my watch (25:47) and stuffed a small rock into my suit.  I turned around and waved my arms, but I couldn't see any of the family on the shore, it was too far away.  I could see the van though up by the highway.  I swam back.  Total trip took 50 minutes.  The waves were going with the wind which was fairly strong from the Southeast.  Here's some video Cathi took of the swim and what the kids did while their Dad was swimming.

The kids caught a couple of crawfish and Jacob caught a water snake.  They had a fun time playing at the beach while I was in the water.

While it was just a short little swim, it felt like a risky going into a new body of water I've never been in before, under slightly crazy conditions, and without a support boat.  I've often felt like I'm a submarine in that my body is just a hull to my soul and no amount of water and waves that pound into me are going to compromise the integrity of that sub.  I'm just focused on keeping the engine powering my arms and legs going.  Anyway it was a fun swim although I really wish I could have gone further, but the vacation is family time and 1 hour is better than nothing.

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