Swimming In Lake Pend Oreille In Idaho

Discussion in 'Places I Have Lived' started by Yvonne Smith, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I grew up in the small town of Sandpoint , Idaho, a town of about 5,000 (friendly) people, and a safe town to grow up in.
    One of the best things about Sandpoint was the city beach, which was on the edge of town and on the shores of the beautiful Lake Pend Oreille .
    This lake is at least 300 feet deep in places, and submarines train there from the Farragut Naval Station; but the city beach is a nice sandy, shallow part of the lakeshore.
    It was where almost everyone went in the summertime, and so from as early as I can remember, I loved going swimming at the lake.
    There was a little round Kiddy Pool, and my earliest memories are of wading around happily in the Kiddy Pool while my mom watched over me in the probably 8 inch deep water, and shallower at the edges.

    Later, it was swimming lessons in the actual lake, and then the enjoyment of going to the beach for an hour or so in the hot summer weather to swim.
    I never even heard of swimming in a pool until one summer when I went to visit a friend in another town, and all they had was a small community pool, and not a beautiful , clear lake , like I was accustomed to seeing.

    This short video shows the city beach as it is now, but it really was not a lot different back in the 1950’s when I was growing up in Sandpoint.
    You can see the mountains around the lake, and the ones that are behind the view of Sandpoint itself, are the hills where we used to ride our horses in the summer.

    Who else has memories of childhood swimming, whether in a lake or a community swimming pool ?

     
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  2. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Actually, Yvonne, I never knew how to swim until I enlisted in the Navy. One of the first things they teach you at Basic is swimming, as well as how to use your dungaree shirt and pants as floatation gear.

    The one reservoir I went to in northeastern Indiana, with my Uncle and cousins in his ski boat, I didn't even see a swim beach. Now, just north of us was Lake James in Angola, Indiana. Extremely popular boating and swimming lake for college students, but I never went there.
     
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  3. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    That looks such a beautiful place Yvonne.:)..what made you move from there?
     
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  4. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    We had a place we called "The Health Club", where went skinny dipping in the summer. One of the banks was about 20 feet high and pure clay, so we would pour water onto the clay and slide down into the creek. If we had worn trunks, the would have been ruined, but we never got so much as a bruise.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Yes, we had Shakey Lakes Park, which was nearly an island, with a wooded land connection to the northeast. It was west of Stephenson, in the UP of Michigan.

    shakey-lakes.jpg
    From the Google Earth image, it appears that they now have a mobile home section. That was not there when I lived in the UP. Except for a beach area on the west, a picnic area adjacent to it, and a ballfield, it was mostly wooded then. Tent camping was allowed, but there weren't any mobile homes or RVs. The Boy Scouts had a camping area in the northeast section, which was then heavily wooded, and not part of the regular park. What looks like a road now was only a hiking trail then. Fishing was great. In fact, the fish were practically stacked on top of one another along the bridge to the west. A fishing license wasn't required. People fished there, along the bridge, and in the more wooded area to the south and east, while the northern lakes were used for swimming, water-skiing, and that sort of thing.
     
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  6. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Very Well-Known Member
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    I grew up on a farm. We had several ponds, one for some reason was referred to as the "clay pit" but stayed full of water. That one was more of a watering hole for livestock. One pond that my dad had built closer to the house had small "islands" in it with cypress trees and was stocked with fish. You could fish or swim or paddle the boat out to a small island. Swimming was a challenge some years because of "pond scum" but that didn't deter us.
     
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  7. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    If I was aware of it then as much as I am now, I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed swimming in the Mississippi River as much as I did. As dirty as it was, I enjoyed swimming in it.
    I do not know when I learned to swim but I do remember my mother giving me a rolled up pancake and sending me out the back door to play. By play, I mean swim for the most part because the back door was only about 20 feet or so from the Mississippi River bank. But learned to swim I must have because here I am now recounting those blessed events when good ol’ mom’s male friend “uncle Jim” would come by and I was ushered out the back door with my pancake in hand. As I remember it, she really liked uncle Jim, and I learned to really like swimming in the Miss.

    All the swimming memories in that grand river are fairly good save for the times when I found out how hard the water can be when one finds themselves butt over tea kettle whilst attempting to water ski behind a boat with a couple of 50HP Evinrude engines pushing it.
    Come to think of it, I’m not sure if the water was that hard or my body resembled that of a skipping rock touching the water once every 6 feet or so until alas, having been drug for a half mile or so on my back and face, I finally let go of the darned rope.
    I wasn’t the best water skier on the Mississippi but it wasn’t for the lack of persistence for if anything, I might have taken the award for the most consistent human skipping rock in existence.

    All that said, I do miss the river which Mark Twain wrote so much about. Even today, I feel a sort of kinship with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn for I did indeed grow up on the Mississippi and have watched the barges and even a couple of Riverboats go by whilst imagining that one day I might captain such a vessel. Heck, later in life, I even rode on the maiden voyage of the Natchez Riverboat.

    Funny but my dad must have missed that river also. I still have his ashes in a cask that I made and eventually, I will do as he requested and scatter his ashes on the Mississippi. It will be a good reunion: Just me, my dad, maybe my younger brother and the longest river in the U.S and friend, .......the Mississippi.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  8. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Well-Known Member
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    @Yvonne Smith That video had some real epic music going on!! It sounded like the beginning of a big movie.

    I was lucky. In Florida, we had short access to beaches, pools, lakes, rivers, springs and ponds. I think most children here learn to swim about the same age as they learn to walk.
     
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