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swimsuit addict

Saguaro and Canyon Lakes

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This morning I did the second swim in the Arizona S.C.A.R OW swim series. Yesterdayís swim in Saguaro Lake was absolutely gorgeous--a meandering route dotted with sheer canyon rock faces and flowering desert flora. (Chaos covers it in more detail in his blog.) I didnít think much could top that, but today's swim was maybr even more spectacular. Canyon Lake lived up to its name--the walls rose up dramatically on both sides of the lake all along the twisty route from dam to dam. We even saw a big-horn sheep along the way! It has been an amazing couple of days, and I think Iím in love now with the beautiful desert vegetation and stark landscapes. I'm so grateful I got the chance to come out here and participate in these swims, which were organized by local OW stud Kent Nicholas. I also loved getting to meet the local swimmers participating it in these lake swims, some of whom I knew or had heard of from blogs and forums--Patrick, Kurt, Gordon/Starbucks, Shauna, and Meg, plus all the great folks Kent found to kayak and crew for us. Judging by the people I've met in the last couple of days, Arizona just might be the friendliest place on earth!

As for the swim itself, today was a tough day on the water! The start was a little colder than any of us were anticipating--the boat got a reading of 62 as we were jumping in.*That and the shaded canyon made for a chilly start. There was significant current against us at the beginning and end near the dams. But the swimming itself was simply glorious--I felt much better in the water today than yesterday and was able to find a good rhythm, and soon the intervals between feelings seemed to fly by. Towards the end of the race as we neared the marina there was a significant amount of boat traffic, and I was glad to have Dave and our great kayaker Jason nearby.*(We had been divided into pods for safety during the swim--we were the skyscraper pod.)

All in all it was a a beautiful adventure on the water. (There are some pictures Iíll post when I get back to my real computer.) There seems to be a robust and growing OW community in Phoenix, and I hope that I'll be able to swim in these lakes again sometime--they are truly amazing!

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Updated May 8th, 2012 at 11:41 AM by swimsuit addict

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  1. mcnair's Avatar
    I saw Chaos's post this morning when I got back from the pool; I'm so jealous of you guys... sounds fantastic! And a balmy 62 degrees to boot?!
  2. ourswimmer's Avatar
    What a lucky sighting! I have hiked and hiked in the desert in California and Arizona and have never seen a bighorn sheep. I did once find a big horn that a sheep had shed. Who knew the best way to see horn and sheep together would be to swim?
  3. aztimm's Avatar
    Glad to hear that you're enjoying your trip!!! Hope you have great swims in Apache and Roosevelt Lakes too. I'm very interested in Roosevelt...it is the first of the lakes on the Salt River to be dammed, it is the largest, and at a higher elevation. All of those things would probably mean the water is cooler.

    I'll think of you while I'm in and around Saguaro Lake tomorrow
    And hope to see you at swim workout on Monday.
  4. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mcnair
    I saw Chaos's post this morning when I got back from the pool; I'm so jealous of you guys... sounds fantastic! And a balmy 62 degrees to boot?!
    Thanks--they really are amazing lakes to swim in! I hope this swim series will continue so that more people can enjoy them!
  5. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ourswimmer
    What a lucky sighting! I have hiked and hiked in the desert in California and Arizona and have never seen a bighorn sheep. I did once find a big horn that a sheep had shed. Who knew the best way to see horn and sheep together would be to swim?
    Our kayaker was really good at spotting these--he pointed out more of them to people on the boat when it was nearby. I wouldn't have seen it if it weren't for Jason--very cool to have both a paddler and a nature guide accompanying us!
  6. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by aztimm
    Glad to hear that you're enjoying your trip!!! Hope you have great swims in Apache and Roosevelt Lakes too. I'm very interested in Roosevelt...it is the first of the lakes on the Salt River to be dammed, it is the largest, and at a higher elevation. All of those things would probably mean the water is cooler.

    I'll think of you while I'm in and around Saguaro Lake tomorrow
    And hope to see you at swim workout on Monday.
    Have fun at Saguaro tomorrow! I'm looking forward to seeing you Monday morning--I'll tell you all about Roosevelt then. If it's much colder than today I might should consider earplugs and hot feeds.
    Also--I thought of you today as we were driving over the hilly twisty road to the lake, and how your running reports always seem to report 8 ft or so of elevation. Seems like the topography is either flat or pretty rugged around here, with not much in between.
  7. aztimm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by swimsuit addict
    Also--I thought of you today as we were driving over the hilly twisty road to the lake, and how your running reports always seem to report 8 ft or so of elevation. Seems like the topography is either flat or pretty rugged around here, with not much in between.
    LOL, yes! I pulled this up to show the others riding today how the ride will be (from the last time):
    http://app.strava.com/activities/7188048
    (the elevation chart at the bottom is impressive, over 2000 feet of climb in 36 miles!)

    Living here in Chandler it is very deceiving; most of my running/riding is nearly flat. But you go just a short distance away, and you get some Cat3/Cat4 hills (supposedly the toughest in the lower 48 are Cat5 in the CO Rockies).

    The drive to Canyon Lake is amazing! You exit the freeway in Apache Junction, it is still desert. You turn onto the Apache Trail, still straight and flat. But just a few minutes later you're going around switchbacks climbing into the Superstition Mountains. Nearly every time my Mom has visited, I've taken her out there, she's always amazed. Then of course we go through to Tortilla Flat for lunch--and I hope you made it there too.
  8. Kurt Dickson's Avatar
    good swimming with you...have a safe trip back
  9. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Dickson
    good swimming with you...have a safe trip back
    Thanks Kurt! It was great meeting and swimming with you. Congrats on your swimming this past weekend!