I met a fellow a few years back who was an open water swimmer and sometimes triathlete. This guy had done some serious swims: across Donner Lake (almost 3 miles), SF Bay, among many others. I had always wanted to try doing triathlon and the water portion was always the sticking point. Reason? Swim class drop out! Ha. I kind of taught myself to swim over the years but never was a speed demon or anything. I actually was quite fearful of open water as many people are. A few years later and some tris under my belt I have come to love open water. Well not all open water…. ocean is still on the bucket list…. (SF Bay in particular). I absolutely love a beautiful alpine lake in the Sierras called Donner Lake. Yes, my readers, the infamous Donner Party were stuck there during their ill-fated journey through the Sierras.
Donner Lake is usually around 66 in July. Not too bad but what I really wanted to try was LAKE TAHOE! Yes! OK… not without a wetsuit though. We rolled out there on a sunny September day. We were told by a good friend in the know that Meeks Bay is a great beach to swim and kayak from! Arriving at the kayak rental shack, I asked the owner, a crusty old Tahoe veteran, what he thought the water temp was? “57 degrees!” he bellowed. I thought to myself I have a wetsuit but no gloves or boots. This should be interesting to see how my hands and feet hold up. 30 minutes later I called it. Face and hands were kind of icy. Here are my swim stats. I think I will stick with Donner Lake, Lake Natoma, and Folsom Lake. Who knows? Maybe down the road I will tackle the SF Bay!!!