Today started at 4am to finish the last-minute packing and catching an early morning flight to be in Edmonton for 10am. Chris’s brother Geoff and his girlfriend came and picked us up at the airport and made our way to Canada’s first and only natural pool. Admittedly the pool was part of my inspiration to come to Alberta via Edmonton for our summer vacation. Borden Park pool was all shiny and new, with unisex change rooms and showers on the deck. Upon arrival the staff went over the rules of the pool before we were allowed in. No cotton, no dyes and no sunscreens with chemicals allowed. You have to dump any water you bring in your bottle and before going in you have to shower from head to toe thoroughly. We were the only ones at the pool. The outside temperature was 15 degrees and the pool temperature was only 17 degrees. I was so excited to go swimming that the cold wasn’t going to stop me. Jumping in was a huge shock to the body. Geoff and Chris got in but didn’t last long in there. Since I had just been on a plane and after the swim we would be sitting in a car for 4 hours, I was determined to get a workout from it. I worked hard to keep my core temperature up. My feet and hands started to go numb, but I kept going. At the end I swam underwater and got a bit of a head freeze from it. The 30 minutes or so that I spent in there went fast because I was enjoying this unique experience of what the body feels like under cold weather. When I got out and took a hot shower after, it was a bit of a shock to the body. Luckily when had some soup at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant.
Most of the afternoon we spent driving up to Slave Lake. We stopped in Jarvie, where Chris’s sister and husband own some farm land. Checked out the silos and tractor, got a little lesson on wheat and picked stingy nettle to make tea for the cold nights ahead of us.