Natures Endless Pool…Swimming at Highbanks

It’s been too long since I’ve been in good swimming shape.   Time to get back at it although I’m having a hard time finding a good place to swim on a regular basis.    I could find a pool to swim in but with the weather being perfect this year for spending time at the beach or lake I just can’t find it in me to swim indoors.    When i got off of work yesterday I HAD to find a lake to swim in.

A few weeks ago I did an afternoon training session with my friend Dave.   We wanted to do a swim, a mt bike and a run up North near Newaygo.   We were both pretty busy that week and we didn’t have time to come up with a plan or destination.   So that morning Dave said he had a great spot that we could do our adventure and it was in Newaygo.   I was all about it.

We ended up going to a spot on the Muskegon River called the Highbanks.   We ran from the roadside park east 4 miles got into the river and instead of swimming back we floated on tubes.   You wouldn’t think that 3 or 4 miles by foot would be that far on the river.   With the tubes it ended up taking 3 /12 hours.   It was a beautiful stretch of river but the entire time I kept thinking of how much better time I could make by swimming.    I would keep this stretch of the river in mind.

Yesterday I left early from work at around 3:30 and I wanted to go for a run and a swim.   It was 90 degrees and at least 90% humidity.   I figured that I would run first, work up a good sweat then take a swim.   Ok my daily adventure was coming together, I just didn’t have a destination yet.    I was thinking of Lake Michigan but today I wanted something different.   I started to think of the Muskegon river and the Highbanks.   It’s a 45 minute drive and gas prices at almost $4 a gallon but what the heck it was perfect I headed North.

Looking down at the Muskegon river from the Parking area

                

It was a perfect day and it was going to be a perfect workout.   I decided that instead of just running out and back from the parking area before the swim I would run the 237 stairs leading down to the river down and back up 10 times.   This would be a great workout for my legs and a change-up from my usual run.

 

Wheww, I don’t know what I was thinking I should have stuck to my original plan of running out 3 miles and back with a few hills because after 5 times I was starting to really feel the burn in my legs.    I kept at a steady pace not allowing myself to slow down and stop to rest.   I got through 8 then 9 and my legs were on fire I wasn’t sure I could make the last climb.   I just kept telling myself to push through it and the swim would be all that much better.    I finally made it, 10 times down and 10 to the top of the stairs and wait…I have to do 11 if I want to go for a swim.   Damn what was  I thinking.   Ok back down to the river.

Swimming upstream going nowhere

I made it down to the river and the water was a perfect 72 degrees with a current running at pretty much the exact speed I swim at.   I swam just a few meters off the bank for 45 minutes and didn’t move more than 5 meters upstream.   It was the perfect endless pool.    To top it all off there was a rope hanging from a tree near the bank that was positioned perfectly to drop into 5 feet of water.     This was more than a workout it was one awesome adventure!!   What was your adventure today??

Rope swing….doesn’t get any better than this!! A perfect summer

JJ

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