Five lakes, 24 hours

On Saturday, I’m doing possibly the craziest thing I’ve ever done: Swimming in all five Great Lakes in 24 hours. (Edit: I’m taking this trip with a few other friends, of course. Taking it by myself would be downright insane.)

When I tell people I’m doing that, the first response I get is, “Is that even possible?”

It is, because it’s been done before. I found a post on the Pure Michigan blog about two women who swam in each Great Lake on May 24 (5-24, get it?!) and immediately knew I had to try it.

Because in case you didn’t know, I’m kind of in love with the Great Lakes. Obsessed, really. I started swimming in one of them—Lake Erie—before I could walk.

My parents bought their cottage in Rondeau Provincial Park, a peninsula sandwiched between Rondeau Bay and Lake Erie, a few years before I was born. Rondeau has cottages on both the bay and lake side. Ours, as you could guess, is on the lake side.

I’m the little nugget with the inner tube.

I was six months old when I spent my first summer at Rondeau, and the water was unseasonably warm. My family is full of swimming fanatics, too (although my dad is the only one who swam competitively), so we spent a lot of time at the beach. Unlike some babies, I quickly learned that Lake Erie wasn’t going to swallow me whole, and my love for the water was pretty obvious. I’m 21 years old and my mom still talks about carrying me down to the beach and watching me kick and flap my arms once I realized where we were heading.

I’ve only gone swimming in Huron and Erie and am itching to dive into the remaining three. So really, this trip was made for me.

Rondeau circa 2009

I should add that I’m not just swimming in each Great Lake; I’m doing it Perry-style. Instead of feeling the water beforehand and slowly getting in, I’m running and diving in. And most likely screaming the second my head breaks the surface (especially in Lake Superior).

Interested in where we’re going? Lucky for you, I have our entire route completely mapped out.

Shameless plug: You better believe I’ll be tweeting about it (at least until I get into Canada and my phone costs $6,000 to use), so maybe you should follow me. Just a hunch.


5 thoughts on “Five lakes, 24 hours

  1. Erik says:

    Sounds like an awesome trip! Beware of deer while driving down 23 near Cheboygan. Have fun, can’t wait to see the pictures!

    • Annie says:

      Thanks! And trust me, we will. Or if I see one, I’ll just yell, “BAMBI, NOOOO!” and maybe it won’t dart out in front of the car.

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