The culminating swim of our Texas adventure was a 9-mile out-and-back journey in Lake Austin, a dammed section of the Colorado River. We started early Saturday morning at Walsh Landing, not too far from Deep Eddy and in view of Tom Miller Dam, and swam upstream to the Loop 360 Bridge before reversing course. Aside from those two locations, the waterfront was nearly all private, spotted with showy mansions and exclusive clubs. Leslie and Richard paddled along with us, keeping us fed and out of harm’s way.
By the time we returned more than four hours later, the water was choppy with boat traffic. The most novel watercraft we saw was a hydrojet backpack-propelled person shooting up in the air. Yup, Austin’s weird.
What impressed me most about this swim was that we were able to do it. Just pull up and hop on in–no one seemed to mind. The water was in the upper 60s, the same as most of our other swim spots in town, and was so shallow that I could touch the bottom and see shells much of the way, though of course we were hugging the shore.
I was glad for the chance to do such a long open-water swim early in the season. Was not so glad to verify first-hand that freshwater lakes can have sea lice, or rather “duck lice” according to my expert companions. It seems that the critters find me no matter where I go–a small price to pay for such a pleasant swim.