I think it’s safe to say summer has arrived in Louisville. Despite the fall-like temperatures last week, I’m looking at temperatures in the high 80s and 90s for the next few days. I don’t mind the heat if I don’t have to be anywhere looking presentable, and I usually don’t. But if I’m walking around in it, I start craving oceans, lakes, rivers — any body of water. Given the geographical location of my current home (and the drugs and sewage in the Ohio River), a pool is really the best I can hope for without driving too far. And while I have at least one pool connection, I am after one particular pool — the Lakeside Swim Club.
Melissa at Loueyville.com voiced this desire last year: “Lakeside has become my Xanadu. My Dulcinea. My Holy Grail…I want to be invited to Lakeside just to see it.”
She’s right — Lakeside IS the Holy Grail of pools. When I first moved to Louisville, I was in good swimming shape. My Peace Corps roommate was once a swim instructor, so he helped me with my form and taught me a few tricks. I love the water, and I wanted to figure out where in Louisville I could practice my recently acquired flip-turn skills. So I turned to Google and learned about Mary T. Meagher and some Y pools. At the time, I was jobless and carless, so getting to these places often seemed like too much of a commitment. If I had the money to buy a membership, I didn’t have the time, and vice versa. I briefly read about Lakeside, but wrote it off quickly after taking in their membership requirements.
Later that year, I was in the Highlands Kroger when I saw this aerial photo of a pool surrounded by high rock walls. It looked beautiful, and unlike any pool I’d seen. I determined this had to be Lakeside and that I had to go. I mean, the club is built out of an old rock quarry. There’s a pool, a “lake” with swimming lanes, and a float area. Last year, Melissa and I visited the quarry in La Grange. No memberships required there, just $8 (maybe $9?) and a float. But it has creepy fish (minnows but also monsters) and pond scum (quarry scum?). Lakeside has chlorine. I don’t just want to see it. I want to swim in it.
But again with the membership. You have to be a member to get in, and to become a member, you either have to live in the neighborhood surrounding the pool (certificate membership) or be sponsored by a certificate member (associate membership). Members can bring guests, and that’s where my ticket is. But as far as I know, none of my acquaintances are members. But this is a small town, right? Who do I have to buy drinks for in exchange for a guest ticket to swim in that “lake”? I only want to go once. I promise I won’t abuse your connections. We can swap stories about fabulous places we’ve been swimming.
If you don’t know anyone with a sweet connection, at least leave me some other suggestions about fantastic swimming holes — anywhere in the world.