Monday, 14 September 2009

Go jump in the lake

If someone said “Go jump in the lake” you’d think they were telling you to take a hike, right? Well, when it was as hot as it was last Monday, you might just take them up on it, and that is just what I did.

Manitoba, the province where I live, has ever changing weather. One moment it is freezing, and the next the sun is threatening to bake your brains. That’s just the type of day Monday turned out to be, first cold, (cold enough to wear a sweater and many layers), then hot by late afternoon.

Unlike my travel companions, I’d climbed into the family car, destined for a drive through Lake of the Woods, (an area known to most Canadians as an area of great recreation), dressed in jeans, t-shirt, and hoodie. Everyone else anticipated the chill in the air would give way to sunshine, and they wore light clothing, t-shirts, shorts, even bathing suits!

Driving for two hours we reached our destination just as the thermostat read 30 degrees Celsius. Sparkling lakes scatter the landscape in various sizes, from large to small, shallow to deep, but all have one thing in common, soft, golden, glacier temperature water.

I felt rather smug watching my family held their breath and gritted their teeth as the waves lapped at their mid sections, but I have to admit, it did look refreshing, and I started to long for other clothing options.

I had other reasons for covering up too. We’ve had a cool, rainy summer, and my legs are as white as the snow most commonly covering this flat region. Were I to show much skin, the beach dwellers might have a new reason to wear sunglasses.

My discomfort must have been obvious. Eventually my mother in law suggested I join them, simply jump in, jeans and all.

Jump in? In my clothes? How absurd. Yet, tempting.

I looked at the water with longing, then to my long restrictive clothing. I stood, dusted myself off, then did as she suggested, and took a flying leap in the lake. It was cold, cold enough to make me shriek, gasp, hold my breath until I turned blue, but at least I wasn’t hot anymore. And swimming in jeans isn’t as bad as it sounds, sure it’s not as freeing as a tiny spandex bathingsuit, and no where near the thrill of skinny dipping, but when you’re as hot as a fire alarm fire, you think it’s the best gig going.

It made me think of another time when wearing that much clothing in the water was a normal thing, and any less was scandalous! I mean, I could’ve been wearing something like this.

I splashed about, barely held back by the weight of my waterlogged jeans, and eventually hauled myself out of the lake, entirely refreshed.

I sat in the back seat, on a bundle of towels, in my squelchy, dripping, tight jeans, with enough sand lining the insides to make a beach envious. By the time we got home I was nearly dry.

Was it worth it? Heck yes.

Tara Nichols


Lindsay Townsend said...

Super, fun blog, Tara, on a true journey to another place! It sounds to have been a wonderful day out.
Those old bathing costumes - oh boy! No thanks!
Show the value of 'breaking out' sometimes, of trying something different - which is what travel is about.

Jane Richardson, writer said...

That sounds like a real BLAST, Tara! What fun! And well done you for taking the plunge, literally! ;-)

Jane x

Tara S Nichols said...

LOL, thanks. It was - refreshing. :)

Danielle Thorne said...

I love the lake--your picture was beautiful. And jumping in dressed from head to toe isn't crazy--it's living!

Cheryl said...

Hi Tara,

I have to say, that was daring. LOL As I've gotten older, I have become one of those people who has to have the water WARM if I'm going to get in it. Of course, here in Oklahoma, that's usually not so hard to come by, but there are days when it's borderline and I won't venture in. In my younger days, I'd get in if my lips turned blue. Nothing like getting cooled off when you are steaming hot. And it sounds like it worked!

Tara S Nichols said...

I used to be a lot more daring too. What I learned is WHAT it takes to get me to be youthful again. Blue lips and sandpaper on my thighs isn't as nasty as it sounds when my brain is melting.

Savanna Kougar said...

Tara, now that was an icy cool jump in the lake.
If I'd been that hot, I'd have been tempted... and probably gone in... though, I don't know about going in with jeans.

When I swam in the Caribbean there was a danger of being sunburned so we would wear t-shirts. Not quite the same, especially since the temps were like bath water.

Tara S Nichols said...

You had me at Caribbean.

Diane Craver said...

Wonderful - glad you shared your adventure with us, Tara. Loved the picture of what women used to wear in the water and the gorgeous lake pic.

Mona Risk said...

Tara, I am shivering for you and I admire you!!! I love my ocean in South Florida at 80 C!!!

Did they realy swim with those bulky dresses years ago?

Tara S Nichols said...

Crazy eh? I've gone swimming in shoes, and fallen through the ice in ski pants, but I still think those dresses were a discouragement to all swimmers.

LK Hunsaker said...

Tara, you took me back to the days of early morning cold-water swimming lessons where we bussed to the pool and back in a group. Part of the test to pass the final foot-level was to tread water for I think 15 minutes wearing long shirt and jeans, then taking them off in the water (13 ft) and using the jeans as a flotation device. LOL. It can be done.

But I have to say, I HATE the feel of wet jeans and cringed at you having to ride back in the car that way!

Lake of the Woods sounds (and looks) incredible. We have one here, also, I think in Missouri.

Joaquin's Realm said...

Wow! Those swimming instructors were really concerned about your safety! Or they were sadists in disguise, ;)

I remember doing that once in swimming lessons.

Graham A said...

Sounded and looks like good fun. Those swimming costumes were certainly not 'hot' but could have served a good purpose, especially in your lake.

Tara S Nichols said...

Yes, there wasn't much svelte about them, but they would keep you warmer for a few seconds longer.