Tahoe Swimming History
After my Lake Tahoe crossing last week, my husband and I visited the local history museum in South Lake Tahoe and learned that Fred Rogers was the first swimmer to complete a lengthwise crossing, which he did in 19 hours, 6 minutes in 1955. The first woman and second person, Erline Christopheson Phillips, swam the length (using an unspecified 18-mile route) in 13 hours, 37 minutes on July 29, 1962. She was just 16 years old at the time. The museum has all of her gear (bathing suit, goggles, etc.) in its holdings and has a digital archive of local news coverage of her swim that they were happy to let us paw through. It was a really neat info gathering session for me that resulted in our speaking with one of the volunteers who run the museum about establishing a list of swims that the museum could curate. I offered to try to shake the marathon swimming tree for some info about historic swims of Lake Tahoe.
So if you have swum a length or width of Lake Tahoe, we want to include your swim in the museum's list. Please comment below with the date, start and finish times, route, total time, and any other information you may have including names of pilot and crew, weather and water conditions, water temp, etc. I've put my info below as an example.
Although the goal is to record every swim, I'm not sure we'll be able to do that--no doubt some are lost to history. But I'm sure we can assemble at least a partial list, and I know the museum will be thrilled to add this information to their holdings.
Swimmer Name: Elaine K. Howley
Swim Date: July 5-6, 2016
Route: Camp Richardson to Hyatt-Incline (South to North lengthwise crossing, 21.5 miles)
Start Time: 8:57 p.m., July 5, 2016
Finish Time: 12:24 p.m., July 6, 2016
Total Time: 15 hours, 27 minutes
Pilot: Tom Linthicum, AKA Capt. Reptile
Crew: Mark Howley, Tiffany McQueen, John McQueen, Shannon House Keegan
Weather: Fair with a 10 to 15 mph westerly wind overnight, air temp dropping to 49 degrees F overnight and rising to 76 degrees F by mid-day
Water temp: 64 degrees F at start dropping to 60 degrees F after about an hour and rising to 66 degrees F in the last 2 miles
Stop me if you've heard this one... A grasshopper walks into a bar... https://elainekhowley.com/