It was a beautiful day for it. Sun shining, a balmy 27 degrees out (the warmest it's been in weeks), no wind. Our posse gathered at Tony's Beer Depot for pre-plunge drinks, and I immediately won the first door prize, a bottle of whiskey.
Eventually, we made our way to the lake, down at the end of Washington Avenue, near the American Legion hall. The hall is undergoing renovation, so there was some concern as to whether there were going to be hot tubs as there had been in the past. But, no worries, there were numerous tubs set up outside.
We regrouped near the beer tent and passed around my flask and various juice bottles full of various concoctions. I stripped down to my t-shirt and shorts.
Teams had been jumping for quite a while before we got there, lining up in groups of five or six and hurling themselves into the hole cut into the ice. Then there were some soloists, such as the man dressed only in aluminum foil and duct tape.
By the time we were called up, we were in no condition to coordinate anything, so we wound up jumping in twos and threes; one guy landed on my head.
I recall jumping into my friend's swimming pool in Arkansas in January when I was 14 or so and the water was like needles. And I remember doing the "water exit" while spelunking as a college freshman, crawling through a cave, the water climbing up as the floor fell away; when it hit my chest, I started hyperventilating. So I had some trepidation about the Plunge.
The water was not so deep as to require one to submerge completely, but most of us (myself included) did. Oddly, it didn't really hurt. Maybe standing outside in shorts for half an hour helped, but the water just felt kinda cold. At any rate, the hot tub felt good. And given the shrinkage factor, the men's changing room moved quickly.
Afterwards, chili and more beer back at Tony's as we all reveled in our idiocy. Miriam (who didn't jump but did photograph) and I danced until the wee hours.