A View from the Lake

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 6/16/98.

My co-workers know that I spend most of the weekends of the summer at Lake Koronis. Some of them are amazed that we are able to go to a cabin that is less than two hours away from the city. A few of them have tried to find their own lakeshore or a cabin within a reasonable driving distance and have been frustrated that little exists in their price range.

In the diversity of our culture everyone finds different things appealing. One of my co-workers canít imagine swimming or water sports done in lake water. This opinion of lake water is not unusual among those accustomed to chlorinated swimming pools. She finds it disgusting to stick part of her flesh into the same water that fishermen have placed parts of earthworms and leeches.

My co-worker grew up in Ohio and swam primarily in pools. Moving to Wisconsin and then to Minnesota exposed her to the lake country. She claims that the thought of the slime in the water is just more than she can bear. Add to that thought the floating weeds, algae, insects, and fish at your toes and one can understand why she might not be too pleased with the thought of swimming in the lake.

On the other hand, I find swimming in a chlorinated pool equally offensive. When Iím in a pool the smell of bleach permeates my nose, my swimsuit, ruins my hair, and turns my eyes bright red. While I know that the level of chlorine is important in controlling mass production of various bacteria, just one accidental mouthful of pool water is enough to send me to the locker room.

Iíve been swimming in Lake Koronis for most of my life. Over thirty years ago I can remember heading into the lake by my grandfatherís bunk house after a long day of fun in the dirt and grime of the garden. We always brought the bar of Ivory soap because it floated. I learned the hard way that any other bar of soap would end up at the bottom of the lake if it slipped from my hand. The lake water was viewed by my family as being as clean as the water in the bath tub at home. Thoughts that we may be polluting never crossed our minds!

When I have accidentally swallowed water when swimming in Lake Koronis it never bothered me. In my youth, when learning to snorkel, I believe the equivalent of many glasses of water entered my system. Ill effects were never experienced. In my adult years as Iíve become aware of water pollution information I do think about what might be in the Koronis water. Since Iíve never become ill after swimming and occasionally swallowing the water, I figure it canít be too polluted. Or maybe over the years Iíve built up an immunity to the contaminates of the water.

My daughter, Kristina, reports that itís fun to swallow the lake water. While in the water one of her activities is to take a mouthful of water and spit it out in an arc like a whale.

As time passes, I hope Lake Koronis water will continue to be safe for water activities for many generations to come. Perhaps in 100 years people will be having discussions about the lakeís unbelievable cleanliness, guaranteeing a pristine view from the lake.

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