"in His Boots?"I love swimming in my clothes. Period. I haven’t worn a ‘bathing suit’ in years — unless we use the more liberal definition of ‘suit’ to include the ‘business suit and tie’ type. Those are fun to swim in.
Well, a few years back I was out near the lake and decided to go check out the water level. Lake Mead had been receding for some time and most all of my favorite coves and lagoons had disappeared, so it seemed like a good idea to check it out before the summer got too hot. I headed over to Boulder Beach first and was surprised to see a good number of people there. The parking area was rather full and the beach was crowded. I parked and began to walk to the water’s edge, about 100 yards away. I was wearing a favorite pair of Wrangler jeans. They were dark blue with just enough fading to call them ‘cobalt blue’; snug fitting, and with enough length to fall nicely over my maroon cowboy boots. My shirt was maroon denim in a medium weight, and I was also wearing a black leather belt with a silver buckle.
This is a normal look for me, and it was not unusual for me to wear everything as I walked into the lake, which is exactly what I did. I splashed around and swam for a while. I was in and out of the water for over an hour before taking a break for lunch. I had packed some sandwiches and a salad, and always had plenty of bottled water. By the time I had finished lunch my clothes were completely dry — something that is not unusual when it is 115ºF with about 10% humidity. Drying off is fast and easy and doesn’t even require a towel. After lunch I returned to the water. Yes, many will say that I should have waited after eating, but I figured that if swimming in cowboy boots and heavy wet denim doesn’t make me drown then turkey on wheat is the least of my worries.
It was time to head back home, and even though my swim was over, this is really where the story begins. I was about halfway through the dirt parking lot — leaving small wet footprint shaped puddles with every step. My jeans and shirt still glossy from the water and a “squish” could be heard with every step I took. I approached a pickup truck with four guys hanging out and partying in the back. They were having a great time, laughing and joking around. As I reached the tailgate of the truck on of the guys said to me “you lose something”?
He was about 25 years old, wearing board shorts, a white wife beater and flip-flops. His eyes were bugged out as he focused on my soaking wet clothes. “No, what did you find”? was my reply to him.
“Nothing. I just figured you lost your keys or something and had to go in the lake to get them”. His stare remained constant as he continued “Dude, you must have been under water, ****, I mean, like, why did you wear your boots?”
I answered: “Well, if you are going to just jump in the lake, it doesn’t count if you stop to ***** down. You either go for it, or you don’t.”
He turned his head slightly to his right, straining to stare at me through the corner of his left eye, and told his friend “He jumped in the lake with his boots!” I smiled, ran my hand down my shirt to squeegee off some water — just to show how wet I actually was — and replied “Jumped in, swam for an hour, got out, had lunch, dried off, and jumped in again… to be exact”.
“That is so cool. I wish I could do that”.
“You can. There is nothing stopping you.” As I walked away I heard him telling his friend “Next time we come out here I’m doing exactly that”. Then, in a faint voice I heard “In his boots!”