|Kootenay Lake, BC|
Six Mile Beach is a hidden treasure. Not that it is a secret. If you ask any local within the area, they will point to the roadway that leads down to the beach. If they have time, they will tell you that it is a longer-than-you-might-think forested walkway or to be watchful of bears. But unless you are told, you won't find Six Mile Beach except if you are on a boat and then it is more than obvious. You might stumble over it.
The narrow spit of sand juts into the west arm of the Kootenay Lake, a north-south lake carved by glaciers long ago and fed now by creeks that have a main line to glaciers.
The season for swimming is short, 3 months on a good year. What I have found is that the heat in the air does not quickly translate into heat in the water so when I am sitting on the beach, the sun has heated up my shoulders and they feel on fire. The lake beckons me. But that first time each summer that I venture out, every body part under the water is paralyzed and every body part above the water is shivering. Glacier water is like that.
Locals call it refreshing. Translated that means "you are really a wimp ass if you complain."
Since nobody, certainly not me, wants to look like a wimp ass, I traipse into the water, dunk my body so my shoulders are wet and skedaddle back to my beach chair. Any memory of heat has been totally obliterated from my mind. I watch a beach jock run into the water and dive in, head first. A show off. Probably a local.
By August the lake gets warmer and adults join the children who have been swimming in the lake for two months. (Is there some biological reason why children don't have the same aversion to cold water as adults?)
A few weeks into fall, I drive past the lake and see mist sitting on the surface.
"What is it?" I ask my friend.
"It's the lake cooling down."
Cooling down? What is colder than cold?
Starting November 1, BootsnAll launched a project called 30 Days of Indie Travel. They have invited bloggers from around the world to join them in a daily blogging effort reflecting on our past travel experiences. Each day, they post a new prompt on BootsnAll articles. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as they like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on their own blogs.