End of Summer: Last Swim at Whipple Dam

The swimming holes are closing down fast, and my husband and I are scurrying to get in as many swims as we can before the end truly comes. When September and October hit, there are often warm, sunny days here and there; warm enough to swim.

But the state parks all close their beaches by the end of September. More's the pity. I love a good chilly October swim, and I remember swimming at Whipple Dam one mid-October day in a prior year, while the beaches were still open, and there were men in jackets holding coffees, standing on the beach looking . . . I could not tell if it was bemused or horrified to see a swimmer. (I still giggle to think of that moment!)

I felt like Ironman, doing lap after lap in the cold water. It made me feel invincible; it made me feel STRONG. And I could see their startled looks when I climbed out of the lake and toweled off: when they realized that, yes, that cold-water swimmer was a really tough GIRL.

Anyway, all of our parks will close their beaches by September 30. Whipple Dam and Greenwood Furnace will still be open through this coming weekend, or so they say. Canoe Creek says September 30 is their end date; so it's possible we'll get one more swim there next week. We shall see.

This was our view of the lake at Whipple Dam, with the beach to the right (pretty much deserted, nobody in the water), and a pavilion, accessible fishing dock, and boats to the left, beyond where you can see. Many of the structures in this park are CCC-era. They are lovely to look at, and full of history.

The water was not as cold as you might think, but it was cooler than it was there for our last swim. The water was a bit muddy, and there were fewer dragonflies and damselflies than before. But the ones that WERE there were enjoying a few late-season romances.

As we left Whipple Dam, I wondered if we would be back anytime soon. Once swimming closes down here, sometimes we don't go back for months on end. It's a pretty little place, very picturesque, and if this is it, I know I'll miss it. But what a lovely summertime we had. . . .

There is something wistful about end-of-season photos, and that's the case for this one too. I look back at all the summer fun we had, for there was lots; oh, we chased summer here, there, and everywhere!

I look forward toward the leaf change, which is one of the grandest shows in Pennsylvania. It's like Mother Nature's last, best fashion show; when all the belles put on their prettiest dresses for the fancy ball. We live for autumn and autumn is coming; no, it is almost HERE.

Farewell, summer.

Farewell, swimming beach.

Farewell, Whipple Dam.

My soundtrack song is this one: Don Henley and Bruce Hornsby, with The End of the Innocence.

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