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Eastern Sierra Swimming

I just finished a massive many-month project at work that had me working 100 hours per week for way too long. It was time to break free from my work space and get out and relax. Or not... get out and have some fun.


So, I piled everything "activity" into my truck, filled up my 40 gallon tank with diesel, and hit the road.


I figured to just camp my way along Highway 395, plopping myself down on whatever BLM land looked hospitable. Which is exactly what I did. The smoke from the fires in SEKI kept creeping over the Sierra Nevada into the valley, but I somehow avoided major smoke.

Workouts for the Week


Monday, September 27

Today was a packing day, so all I did was 30 minutes of Yoga.

Tuesday, September 28

Today was a travel day. It takes a good 5 hours to get from the coast, around the southern end of the Sierra Nevada, up into the valley. Along the way I did stop several times for some brief exploration.


Red Rock Canyon is sure an interesting place.

Wednesday, September 29

Today I settled into a nice camp spot, tucked away from sight and sound.


I ventured up McGee Canyon and did a trail run. It was pretty late in the day and the temperatures were dropping pretty quickly. Since I was in a tank and shorts, I decided to give myself a good buffer before the sunset. I would have loved to go further up the canyon. It was so beautiful. The fall colors were popping off and the air was so fresh.


Total Distance: 13.5 km

Total Time: 2:18:37


Thursday, September 30

Today was a day of misfires, but an amazing day nonetheless. I started my day by wanting to go to the Crowley Lake Columns. I was hoping to double dip on the trip and get an open water swim in at the lake. So, my Kayak and Swim Bag and I journeyed over to Crowley Lake. I dropped in my Kayak, loaded up by gear (including fishing gear and my swim bag) and head over to the Columns.


Let me just say that this was the greenest lake I have ever seen. It was algae soup. Thick, green algae soup. No way in the world would I swim in this - ever. So, nix that idea. I dropped in my fishing line and dragged a lure along behind me as I padded over to the columns.


The Columns did not disappoint. They were much taller than I had envisioned, with some of the twice the height as me. There were several shallow caves that were also very interesting to check out.


The trip was well worth it, even if I didn't get to swim and I didn't catch a single fish.

After my trip to Crowley, I wanted to ride my bike around Mammoth Lakes area. So, I dropped my kayak at my camp, grabbed my bike, and head over to Mammoth. I parked at the Visitor's Center and geared up and rolled out. It only took me about 100 feet of riding to realize that my electronic shifters had dead batteries. FAIL. Extra fail, I didn't bring the charger. I rolled over to the local bike shop to see if they had one I could buy. Nope. So, back to the truck. I rode a total of 2 km.

Friday, October 1

Today is a big day! I hired a coach, Coach Trista Francis, and we start today. Yay! I'm very excited. So, now I just do what she says. So, today Coach T said to swim and run. No problem! I head over to June Lake, one of my favorite places to swim in the world, to check the water temps. Brr. Probably around 55°F/12.7°C. Okay... pretty much like the ocean.


I suited up and jumped right on it, aiming for the big rock, crossing over to the middle of the lake, and then back. I was very, very slow. I'm just not in shape anymore! UGH.


After my swim, I did a quick 30 minute jog around the June Lake Campground. I was still very chilled, even after a 30 minute jog. A nice, hot shower at the RV campground fixed that.

Saturday, October 2

Today was a swim day and I decided to check out Convict Lake to see what the water temps were like. I started by dropping in my kayak and circumnavigating the lake (fishing lure in tow). I measured a water temp of around 55°F/12.7°C and lake length of about 1,500 meters. I quickly concluded that I MUST swim in this lake. So, back to shore to suit up.


I walked down the miniature boat ramp and right out into the lake and off I went. About mid-way down the lake I saw a bald eagle and tried capturing it on my GoPro. It just looks like a little dot. I swam at a pretty leisurely pace, knowing that I'd have to last well over an hour to get to the end of the lake and back. I was super stoked once I reached the opposite shore. But, not wanting to draw a chill, I jumped right back in and head back, into some noticeable wind chop. The last 500 meters was a slog since I'm most certainly not in shape to readily do this distance. But, as always, I pressed on, counting the trees along the shore as I swam past them. 100 strokes at a time. I made forward progress and eventually emerged at the mini boat ramp. Much to my surprise, there was a crowd of people who had been watching me swim and they cheered for me as I walked up the ramp. It made me smile.


Fortunately, I had water bottles in the car that had warmed up from the sun and those quickly warmed me from the inside. The sun was warm but the air was cool, so I just bundled up. Once warm, I head over to Mammoth for some food.


Sunday, October 3

Sadly, this was the day to drive back home. I was pretty knackered from the two swims, especially since I was swimming at around 8,000 foot elevation (keep in mind, I live at the ocean). So, I just loaded up and head home.


I was supposed to do a long run today, but between fatigue and the elevation kicking me down, I decided just bag it.

Totals for the Week


Total Swim Distance: 5,322 meters Total Swim Time: 2 hours 18 minutes


Total Run Distance: 17.2 km

Total Run Time: 2 hours 48 minutes


Total Time on the Move: Many hours, most of which weren't logged


Fish Caught: 0. Zero. None.