bike: 8.5 miles
lake nokomis and back
75 degrees

Another day of bad air quality (165). Smoke from the fires in Canada. I felt it a little in my lungs while I was biking.

No worries about seeing as I biked. Relaxed. Just like on Monday, my left kneecap didn’t want to stay in the groove while I pedaled. The tendons around the left knee were aching. Pain, not sharp but dull discomfort.

Nearing the beach it got much windier. The wind! Suddenly I remembered what I had forgotten on my bike ride on Monday — in that entry, I wrote about how I had forgotten the thing I wanted to remember — the wind rushing or roaring or howling in my ears as I biked. So loud! Not quite as loud today, but still vigorous and noisy.

I could only catch a few quick glimpses of the river through the thick thatch of green, but what I did see was strange: a hazy, smoky, barely visible gorge. The smoke was even worse around and in the lake. I wonder what the visibility was there?

As I biked home, happy from my swim, I thought about something I’d mentioned to Scott last night: I’d like to be the poet laureate of lake nokomis. Is this a thing I could do? Maybe I could write a grant to do some sort of public readings/programs around my writing about lake nokomis? Maybe I should start with something less ambitious than poet laureate? Poet-in-residence for open swim?

swim: 1.5 loops (1 mile / 7 mini loops)
lake nokomis main beach
78 degrees

Lots of waves. Swimming north around the white buoys was much easier than swimming south with the waves crashing into me. I liked swimming into the waves, partly because it made me feel strong and partly for how the roughness heading north helped me appreciate the smoother water heading south.

I practiced my new habit (first tried out last night at open swim): when I think I’m done or want to be done or feel like I’m too tired to not be done, I’ll take a short break near shore, then swim one more loop. I did this last night by taking a minute break after 2 loops, and then swimming a third loop. Today it was stopping after 6, then doing a 7th. I’d like to swim longer during open swim — I’m sure I’m capable — so I’m hoping this habit can stick and will help me get to my ultimate goal: to stay and swim for the full 2 hours, from 5:30 to 7:30.

10 Things About the Kayakers

  1. When I first arrived to the beach, I noticed 2 (or maybe 3?) kayakers hovering near the white buoys, just past the swimming area. What were they doing?
  2. Also spotted: the silhouette of swimmer by the far orange ball buoys, only their head and shoulders poking out of the water and a dark buoy — a metal detecter guy?
  3. When I got in the water, the kayakers moved farther from the buoys out into the middle of the lake. Later they returned
  4. It was difficult to see them in the choppy water and the smoky air. I’m pretty sure they could see me, with my bright green and pink cap and yellow buoy tethered to my waist
  5. As I swam I tried to keep an eye on them, imagining scenarios where they ran into me. In one, I was knocked out when they accidentally rowed into me. My inert body floated in the water, held up by my swim buoy
  6. Mostly they appeared as hulking, dark shapes — was it color I just wasn’t seeing, or were they mostly dark?
  7. More dark, hulking shapes appeared in a line — 4 or 5? Was it a group? Were they plotting something?
  8. Near the end of my swim, 2 kayakers swam parallel to me, close to the white buoys. I raced them
  9. Another random kayaker, not looking as dark as the others, crossed right in front of me making me have to stop and wait for them to pass
  10. Even though the voiceless, hulking, hovering, strange shapes seemed menacing it was cool to see them appear as dark dots on the water in my peripheral vision

wordle challenge

3 tries:


twist & turn
tapioca treat
tiresome tract

I can’t remember how often she did it, but my mom made tapioca pudding for dessert when I was a kid. She also made chocolate pudding from scratch and homemade hot fudge sundaes. We had dessert almost every night. Why?

terrible twist
traitorous treaty
tract take over

The Mississippi River Gorge has a troubled history of stolen land, illegal treaties, and destruction of sacred islands. The Falls Initiative is trying to offer some healing.