found a new-to-us, gorgeous, swimming lake within 20 minutes of home. gah!
ever since we first drove over that way three years ago, we have noticed cars parked on the shoulder on a particular stretch of coastal road. the area is unmarked and near private homes so we didnt know what to make of it. finally, this summer, curiosity got the better of us and we looked the spot up on a map and saw that a good sized lake (williams lake) was nearby and presumably the draw of all the motorists. and today we finally decided to park there ourselves and explore. armed with snacks and bathing suits, we made our way down the steep rocky trail that took us straight to the lake edge. the lake is shallow and deepens gradually but is quite rocky. there is no sandy beach area by any means, but it was definitely a well used lake. it appears that people just strip down to their suits, put their stuff in a pile among the rocks, walk right in to the perfect temperature water, have a swim around the lake and walk back out and up to their car.
the lake surroundings are really neat. there are no houses on the lake, its all forested. the water sits in a low, shallow bowl with the forest rising up all around it. it feels like a secret protected spot, except that you share it with other people. everyone seemed to co-exist and yet find peaceful solitude at the same time. i loved the ruggedly serene atmosphere. people were swimming for exercise, floating in tubes, making their way out to one of a couple craggy islands, sunning themselves on boulders. as a teenager i would have loved to have had a spot like this. it was safe, it was easy to get to, and i definitely wish we would have found it sooner. X loved it. she waded out with dave, climbed boulders, jumped from rocks into the water and had a blast. dave floated out and relaxed a bit and i just soaked the whole place up. as we were leaving, a lady climbed out of the water and mentioned she had been coming to the spot for 20 years. unfortunately a developer has bought the roadside land and will be building houses soon. its likely that the trail/lake access will be cut off to the general passerby. total, total shame.
*there are no pics because our camera took a swim in the ocean recently, courtesy of my clumsiness. :(