Wolf Lake – Northwest Indiana

Here’s another awesome guest post from Bob Cavallo, our man in northern Indiana. For those of you doing Leon’s Triathlon this weekend, it gives you an idea of what to expect. Great job, Bob!
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31 May 2011

Open water swim today in Wolf Lake with the NWI Triathletes. Wolf Lake is on the border of Indiana and Illinois, East-side of Chicago and Northwest side of Hammond. This is the swim course for Leon’s Triathlon.

We swam out and back about a mile. The water was cool but not cold and choppy with a wind from the Southwest. 15 of us made the swim today. We had one person in a kayak as an observer and to make sure the fishermen in their power boats saw us.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Here’s Bob’s swim report on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore – one of only four national lakeshores in the U.S.
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After the fun time at Big Shoulders Saturday, I thought why not try a swim in Indiana? I had a day off work so I went to the Dunes National Lakeshore at Beverly Shores, about 10 miles east of Gary (the National Lakeshore is to be confused with the State Park which does not allow swimming after Labor Day).

The sky was clear, the water temp was very comfortable, and the waves were not too big. Anyone driving out here for a swim can park their car along the Lakeshore Drive at any of several parking areas. And did I mention it’s all free?

I swam parallel to the beach for about a mile and then turned and came back. For most of the swim the water was deep enough, but in a couple of places I swam over a sand bar and could touch the bottom as I stroked.

A couple of interesting points: A short distance from where I parked, the National Park Service is renovating four homes from the 1932 Chicago World’s Fair. These homes were moved from the site of the fair to the lake shore in Indiana by a businessman as an advertisement for his development. I don’t know how his business fared, as it was the Great Depression.

Another point about the National Lakeshore, Illinois Senator Paul Douglas along with people from Northwest Indiana were instrumental in saving the lakeshore from Gary to Michigan City from private development and industry except for the several miles that is the steel mill at Portage. I was an environmental victory from the 60’s we can all enjoy.

Chicago Triathlon

Here’s another great post from Bob Cavallo, who just completed the Chicago Triathlon over the weekend. Way to go, Bob!
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Well, this is a little North of Indiana but I had to comment on swimming this weekend at the Chicago Triathlon.

The water temp was 73F and the air temp at 8am was equally pleasant. For all those who swam Sunday, you could not ask for better conditions. Personally, I felt really good and strong on the swim, and it was the most enjoyable part of the race.

I was waiting for the Sprint Triathlon swimmers to start when I got this picture of the sun peeking over the clouds:

Swimming this week in Indiana – Lake Street Beach

Here’s another awesome guest post from Bob Cavallo, our man in northern Indiana. Great job, Bob!
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Wednesday evening I tried a new beach, at least new for my swims: the Lake Street Beach in the Miller section of Gary. I run a race there every spring, the Gallory Gallop, which goes along the beach through Miller and into the dunes. But I’ve never swum there until now.

The beach is long, stretching from Lake Street east to the National Lake Shore over 2 1/2 miles. It has buoys so boats won’t be a hazard.

The water is shallow near the shore, but out by the buoys it gets deep enough for swimming. Wednesday evening was cool with a lot of clouds and some wind, but the water was calm.

Thursday evening I was back to my old haunt at Hammond Beach. Quite a change from Lake Street in that this beach is only 220 yards long before you get into the boats and jet-skiers. But I got in a nice swim in cool but calm water. The shorter distance gives me a good chance to swim intervals harder going east and recover coming back west. Overall, a nice swim.

Swimming in Indiana

This is a guest post from Bob Cavallo. Bob is an active open water swimmer who’s our local voice for the Indiana lakeshore. Welcome Bob!

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Hello from Indiana!

I swim during the week at the Hammond Beach, just Southeast of Chicago. It’s not the most beautiful beach on Lake Michigan, but it’s convenient and better than a pool. It’s situated between the Hammond Marina and the State Line Generating Plant.

The beach is about an 1/8 mile long between buoys. But if you get out early in the morning before the boaters, you can swim the full length of the beach (about 1/2 mile).

Tonight was the first evening I could get back into the water since last weekend. Between E. Coli (thanks Chicago), storms and cold water I haven’t done much. This evening the water temperature was comfortable to swim in and the lake was very calm.

Thanks again Steve, and in the future I will post about some of the other beaches along our Indiana lakefront!