Gee whiz…what’s a fellow gotta do just to get some accessible open water this time of year?
My odyssey began at 7:30am, and I was really excited. Clear and sunny skies coupled with no wind is typically a formula for perfect outdoor swimming. So imagine my dismay when I scurry out to Ladder #1 in my IGO car only to discover this:
I had two choices at this point:
1) Use the prepaid three hours to do some extemporaneous grocery shopping
2) Go on a lakefront quest in search of an accessible patch of open water
Those who know me personally or through this blog can easily guess which option I took…
I decided to head south to see if Ohio Street Beach was accessible. OSB is definitely NOT my choice for a decent swim venue, but I figured that I couldn’t be choosy at this point. Fat chance – OSB was also iced over (plus parking is terrible!).
Heading further south, I made a stop at 31st street beach. I used to train there with my triathlon group, and it’s actually a really great swimming area (plus they serve Connie’s Pizza during the summer). Once again, everything was iced over.
I hiked a few blocks south on the lakefront path to check out the 35th street kayak launch area. I had promised Dave at Envirosports that I would keep checking this site to see how accessible it would be for an organized open water swim start. An earlier outing a few weeks ago proved inconclusive as I had to navigate HUGE swells in the icy water. There were no waves this time, but it was all one big skating rink just like Ladder #1.
Feeling thwarted but determined, I jaunted down to Promontory Point in Hyde Park. I had never been there for a swim, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Much to my surprise and delight, the south end of the point was 95% clear with only a small and thin (i.e. easily breakable) layer of ice bordering the edge of the rocky beach.
Bottom line, another successful winter swim adventure: