Friday, December 23, 2011

December Dipping in Lake Tahoe

I'm home in CA for Christmas. My mama and I drove from our home in Petaluma to our cabin in Tahoe, originally planning to ski, but the 4 runs open did not justify the $90 ticket prices (bahhhh no snow!), so we opted out. Instead we went for walks, read books, oh, and dipped in Lake Tahoe.

Let me give you some back-story on "dipping." Mama worked at a camp in Michigan this past summer, and first thing in the morning the kids ran down to the lake to dip. At the end of the summer, awards were given to all the "Perfect Dippers" -- campers who had dipped every day of the summer. Mama, being the competitor she is, was upset -- If I'd known there was a prize I totally would have done it!

So when she returned to CA in August, she decided that as long as she and my dad were in Tahoe, they had to dip in the lake every day. And they did it through October, but then moved back to Petaluma (there's some weird house-splitting going on in my family right now).

Naturally, we just had to dip in December, mostly for the sake of saying we'd done it. 

The day was surprisingly auspicious -- December 21, Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. What better day to jump into an icy cold lake?

The water temperature (50 degrees) was only slightly warmer than the 40 degrees air. (Yes, above is an ice-covered rock.)

We drove the one mile down to the lake feeling a bit apprehensive. I'm not much of a jump-in-water person even in the summer, so doing it when there's ice on the edges of the lake and patches of old snow on roadsides did not immediately appeal to me.

We got out of the car and a woman and her husband looked at us like we were absolutely nuts

"You're not going swimming, are you???"

"No no," responded Mama, standing outside in a bikini in late December. "We're just going to go dip and come back out."

I held out my camera to the woman, "Actually, would you mind taking pictures of this?"

Luckily she obliged and was a very good photographer! Thus, we have evidence. 

I took off my fleece and was ready to go.

We walked down the rocky beach and kicked off our flip-flops at the edge of the icy-blue lake. I saw Mama's feet go into the water and thought, Oh my gosh we're really doing this! I took three big steps into the water and plunged. 

(You may notice from the picture that I dipped first...not saying it was a race...but I won.)

We came up gasping and spluttering and shrieking.

We trudged out of the lake, shaking and freezing, but surprisingly elated. Our hastily enlisted photographer snapped photos all the while, herself shouting, "Oh my God! I can't believe you're doing this! Quick get a towel you crazy girls!"

It took some time for me to stop shaking, but I'm happy to report that dipping is just as fun and satisfying as Mama promised it would be. 

I hope that wherever you are, you're having a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and wonderful winter season!!!