Swim Camping

So as you all know I am an active member in Utah Open Water which is a loose organization of open water enthusiasts in Utah that hosts events, publishes swims and promotes open water throughout the state.   I am very lucky to be part of such a vibrant open water community.  Everyone I have met has been so nice and welcoming.  It really feels like a family.

Last month I put on one of my swimfests, the Summer Swimfest, but some of the group couldn’t make it because of summer plans.  As we were discussing alternate plans Josh Green (one of the founders of Utah Open Water) suggested a Swim Campout.  I quickly told him that camping is not my thing so I couldn’t really take the reigns on this one.  My camping career has been a deep and sordid mess and I am the last person in the world that could plan camping fun for anyone . https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/campin/

So, Josh and company decided to go ahead and plan the campout and after my friend Kate agreed to bring all the gear I decided to give it a shot.  I figured one night couldn’t kill me. 🙂

The camp was at the East Canyon State Park and Reservoir west of Park City.  I had never been to it before but it was beautiful and very convenient easy to access campgrounds (with tables and bathrooms).    Jim Hubbard in our group took more photos the I did and as soon as he posts them I will put them on the blog.

We started out with a swim and the water was perfect.  It was just the right temperature with minimal boat traffic.  The only thing that was challenging was getting down to the water was treacherous and I stupidly only packed flip flops (which were destroyed by the end of the trip. Oh well!).

After about an hour swim we headed back to the campsite and set up camp (or Kate set up camp!).  Then we had dinner.  This was my contribution to the evening.  I bought marinated salmon from Harmons and made foil dinners with veggies from the bountiful basket.  They were delicious and very filling.  Kate brought a fruit salad and Sabrina made an amazing cake and homemade ice cream (they brought a generator and she churned the ice cream on campsite!

So the food was delicious and the bugs weren’t too bad.  Manageable.

Then we watched a movie using a projector powered by the generator and a big screen.  The kids chose Up which is one of my favorite summer movies (may be my favorite movie of all time period).   It was really fun watching the movie with the crisp air and the stars beside wonderful friends.

Once the movie was done and the kids were in bed then the real adventure started.  We went night swimming.  Because it was so dark I couldn’t take many photos but I have this one.

Don’t I look like the lady in Tron?

To night swim you put on glow sticks both arms and bracelets and one by your goggles and you have a kayaker with a lantern and you swim!  It was a crazy cool experience . The water felt a lot colder in the dark and it just felt surreal like swimming in black mud and all you could do is feel the water and see an occasional glow.  I must say it was exciting and a little scary but mostly cool!

The only down side to the night swimming was it did make it hard for me to get to sleep, which was already going to be a tough prospect in the tent.  I gave it a good try and finally about 1:30 I fell asleep.  Then I woke up around 4 and then slept from 5 to 7. 4+ hours of sleep I was actually quite happy with given the circumstances.  Someday I want to own an airstream and be able to go to cool lakes and sleep in my cute little airstream.

Anyway, I woke up and we made breakfast. It was Kate’s ideas.  Eggs you boil in a bag. Very tasty, if a bit slow in cooking. Worth the wait and tons of good conversation along the way.

Survived my first night of camping in like 10 years
Kate with our eggs. Yum

After breakfast we conversed and got to know one another better.  I’m amazed at the quality of individuals I meet while swimming.  Sometimes its easy to be cynical when the world seems awfully wicked and sad but then I think of all the great people I met on my mission or through swimming or work.  It’s comforting really.  Its also great how much my circle has expanded in just one year.  I told Kate before we went to sleep ‘And to think a year ago we didn’t even know each other’.  Pretty amazing the depth of friendship and unity you can feel with a whole group of people in just one year.

I’m just grateful to God that He has seen fit to bless me with such friendship in my life.  Real and abiding friendship is over flowing in my life and I hope I give it back as much as I get it.

Anyway, I made some new friends at the campout including Sue who is a masters teacher who coaches at night! I’m excited to go check it out.  Most masters classes are early in the morning- sometimes as early as 5:30 and with my insomnia that’s darn near impossible for me.

Through the morning more people arrived including my friend Etsuko and her son and a new swimmer to our group named Scott.

We all went for a morning swim (the others did a full mile but Kate had to be back in the afternoon and I was tired between 3 swims in about 12 hours, hiking and 4 hours of sleep I was done! 🙂

Thanks to Josh and everyone else who helped make my return to the camping world a success.  Hope we can do it again soon.

Here are some photos and like I said will post more when Jim posts his.

The whole crew mostly
Me before the swim today. Thank goodness for that Lands End tankini. Saved my life in making quick changes in cars and tents!
Etsuko before our swim
Kate and I. Love this shot!
Love this shot too. You can see how clear and great the water was
Our new friend Sue.


Like I said I will post more photos later but it was a super fun day.  Now I am counting down the hours until I can go to bed.  Super tired and sore! Too much fun happening here.







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