Fishermen, NOT!!!... Swimmermen, YES!!! - Varsity Team 596

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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 - 5:30 AM came early as the Varsity Team 596 from the Windsor Stake in Orem, Utah gathered by the flagpole at the Windsor Chapel. The time was enough to trim the number of boys from 12 down to the 4 that arrived. In fact, most of the others had other commitments, but this select group of young men were looking forward to hiking up to Silver Lake with the hopes of catching lots of fish.


Brother Burr, Brother Humphries, my son Adam Leavitt, and myself were to be the leaders, while Alex, Bryson, Bradley, and Riley were the enthusiastic boys attending.... Wait a minute, Bryson showed up with anything but an enthusiastic smile on his face.  He would have much rather preferred to cuddle with his pillow for a few more hours, yet he turned out to be one of the most fun participants on the trip.


The goal was to head up American Fork Canyon and pass Tibble Fork Reservoir. Leaving the pavement and heading up the dirt road, we made our way to Silver lake Flats reservoir and parked our vehicle and got out into the early morning blackness with the sun threatening to come up on the horizon. We had a couple of miles ahead of us to climb upward and onwards to the smaller Silver Lake which sits behind Lone Peak and to the south of Red Baldy and White Baldy.

The hike was more rigorous than most expected. Riley made it step by step with somebody always holding either his hand or arm. I was proud of him for never quitting or complaining.  Instead, he was slow and steady.

Bryson was the first to make it to the lake, followed closely by Bradley. Bradley was excited to get his gear in the water, and was probably the most disappointed that none of us even experienced as much as a bite. Alex stayed back with Riley, Brother Humphries and Brother Burr and they all arrived about 20 minutes later.

FISHING - We gave it our best to catch fish.  We could see little minnows feeding on the surface, but we never did see anything of any size. Adam and I were using Jakes Spin-a-lures, while Bryson, Alex, and Bradly were using smaller spoons.  Riley tried hard with a marshmallow, and he never saw his bobber go below the surface. Both Alex and Bryson did their best to tangle all of their line, while Bradley realized that he had very little line to cast out.


SWIMMING - The sun was out and we all were perched upon the large white salt and pepper colored granite boulders. Bryson suffered from the grass is greener syndrome and he worked himself around the lake to a large outlook point, but he had no better luck. The sun was beating down and I decided that I should just go swimming instead. Without telling anybody I took off my boots and socks, and then the lower legs of my fly-away Scout pants. I them emptied almost all of my pockets and prepared to jump into the water.  I had mentioned to Brother Humphries earlier that I was going to go swimming and he said, "I'll go in if you do." And when I was ready I called over to Adam, who was napping on the rock, and said, "Hey Adam, I am going to go in." After a couple of moments to gird up my loins and find some inner courage, I took the dive off the rocks and into the cold high mountain lake water.


Brother Humphries saw me go in and he made his way down to the waters edge and he dove right in. Adam went down to his T-shirt and matching boxers and dove off of a higher rock. After about 10 minutes of our playing in the water Bryson came back over and he dove in. After a little encouragement Alex came in to join us. Finally, after much reluctance, Brother Burr dove in and said that all we had to do was have his son Bryson ask him earlier. The truth be told, he had no intention of ever going in the water when it was just Brother Humphries, Adam and I. As for Bradley and Riley, neither are big swimmers and they had a blast watching the rest of us frolicking in the lake.

So the fishermen turned in their poles in favor of frolicking in the water as swimmermen. We all learned a valuable lesson, and that is when things don't go as planned, then you make the best lemonade you can out of the lemons that you have been dealt. And lemonade in the form of high mountain lake swimming, actually tastes pretty good... Cowabunga... Splash!!!

Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah




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