It was SUCH a grand idea: One last swim to say goodbye to summer, out at Cochiti. The three of us, Cindy, Courtney and myself piling into my Fit, heading up the highway, laughing and carefree.
We drove the 40+ miles and then parked at Cochiti. It was a beautiful morning, and we laughed and joked and then headed down the beach, kicked off our shoes, tossed our towels town, and then headed into the green shoreline.
You read correctly.
There had been a major algae bloom, and the water was full of algae, so full that it ran in virulent green streaks through the water. Some of the individual algae plants clumped together; as you lifted the clumps, they fell apart and some of them stuck to your hand while the rest slid off. Mmmmm.
The rocks under our feet were slippery. Green bits floated throughout. In water up to our knees, we could just make out our feet through the green haze.
We waded out to about chest deep, eventually, to see if the water was clearer away from the shore. It wasn't. We watched, unbelieving, as Courtney ran out and then dove through and swam about 200 meters out in the green water.
"Let's just think of it as a spa," I said, running my hand through the green water. "A redneck spa. People pay money to plaster this stuff on their skin, you know. Facial masks. Hair masks."
"I'm not putting my face in this stuff," Cindy retorted.
We watched Courtney swim some more.
"I wonder if this is the stuff that people eat," I said. "You know, like chlorella." We stood around, and watched Courtney splash and swim some more way, way out in the lake. Wondered out loud if the stuff was harmful. Waved our arms and hands through the water some more. Watched the green clumps slide off our skin.
We waved to Courtney. She waved back. Then we agreed that, 40 miles or not, we just weren't going out in this muck.
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