Featured photo for Richards Lake, CO

Richards Lake, CO

Having a 20-yard lap pool with lane lines and mountain views 800 feet from home is great. Having that and Richards Lake 500 feet away is heavenly. So on a day when record heat was recorded (mid-90s), I decided to jump in the lake for the first time.

Why I’ve waited until now, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s due to the war-like memories of Ironman Arizona—my last open water swim. That’s pretty silly, though, considering it took about 30 seconds to walk over to this point:

A trail leading down to trees by Richards Lake in north Fort Collins.

There is even a resemblance of a beach:

A beach at Richards Lake in Fort Collins.

At first I thought I was going to need my wetsuit, but then I stuck my foot in the water and it was warm! Warmer than the water in our pool, in fact. There was no one else there as I stripped down to my Speedo and did some laps.

The water was clean with squishy seaweed at the bottom but ample depth for swimming. Unfortunately I forgot my goggles at home and was too lazy to go fetch them which reduced me to swimming with my eyes half-closed. Nevertheless, it was a refreshing swim which made me quickly forget the heat of the day.

Too bad I am not planning on doing any more triathlons this year, as this is just about the ultimate setup for swim training. Oh well, there’s always next year.

In the meantime, I prepare for a reluctant “summer vacation.” Why I bother to travel anymore is perplexing when everything I enjoy is right here. Anyone with a cure for homesickness, please let me know.

Richards Lake, Fort Collins.
Richards Lake, Fort Collins.