Two Austin swimming holes made a list of the Best Places for a Swim in a New York Times article penned by touring musician Loudon Wainwright III this weekend.
Barton Springs (of course!) and Deep Eddy (a little more surprising, but bravo!) get mentions alongside oceans, lakes and rivers in Ireland, Australia and Scotland. Watering holes in New York, Rhode Island and California also made the list.
Wainwright, a folk singer and songwriter who has spent much of the last 50 years traveling the globe performing, says he always packs a swimsuit and goggles along with his guitar. He likes to swim laps between shows, and says he grew up loving the water. (His father liked to swim, too, but his mother harbored a fear of swimming since she was baptised in a muddy water when she was 8.)
Wainwright, who lives in Canada, is more than just a musician. He’s played small parts in films, including “The 40-year-old Virgin” and the singing surgeon in an episode of MASH.
No surprise that he included Barton Springs Pool in his story. He makes note of the topless sunbathing that sometimes (though not nearly as often as it used to) takes place at the chlorine-free swimming hole.
Somewhat surprisingly, Deep Eddy also gets a nod. (I love Deep Eddy too, but on the global scale?) Perhaps it’s the history of the place that charms. Wainwright notes that the spring-fed pool, touted as the oldest man-made swimming pool in the state, once hosted Lorena’s Diving Horse. He doesn’t mention the ferris wheel or the guy who ate bananas under water or the giant slide, which add to the appeal, too.
What are your favoirte places to swim? Besides Barton Springs, I’d put Walden Pond in Massachusetts, Madrone Lake at Bamberger Ranch near Johnson City, a secret spot on the Blanco River, Lake Michigan and the San Marcos River on my list.