Sask. woman celebrates 51st birthday by plunging into 51 provincial lakes

·2 min read
Lara Guerrero, left, and partner Robert Schümann, right, swam in 51 lakes in Saskatchewan this past summer to quench her thirst for adventure.  (Submitted by Lara Guerrero - image credit)
Lara Guerrero, left, and partner Robert Schümann, right, swam in 51 lakes in Saskatchewan this past summer to quench her thirst for adventure. (Submitted by Lara Guerrero - image credit)

Some people find it tough to dedicate time to relaxing on the beach. Others make the time to splash around in dozens of Saskatchewan lakes for fun.

Lara Guerrero from Saskatoon chose the latter. She marked the summer of her 51st birthday by exploring 51 of the nearly 100,000 lakes in the province.

Host Leisha Grebinski asked Guerrero why during CBC's Saskatoon Morning on Monday.

"Well, I like being 51 and I like swimming in lakes," Guerrero said. "So, I thought, what a great way to celebrate that."

"There's so much to see and it's wild and untouched beauty." - Lara Guerrero

Over about four months — from her first frigid swim into Pike Lake on June 1 to her last dip in Sturgeon Lake on Sept. 26 — Guerrero's adventures stretched across the province.

She and her partner explored two national parks, 24 provincial parks and five regional parks. In one day at Makwa Lake Provincial Park and Meadow Lake Provincial Park, she managed to float around in 14 lakes.

Submitted by Lara Guerrero
Submitted by Lara Guerrero

Guerrero said Saskatchewan has a bad reputation as a boring province. It might be flat and featureless within eyeshot of the highway, but there's more to it than that, she said.

"There are so many hidden treasures. You wouldn't even believe it," she said, listing off places like Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park and northern boreal forests.

"There's all sorts of really neat places that people don't really hear about and I think that you should take the time and get in your car and take a gravel road and see where you end up."

This isn't the first time she's travelled across the province to go swimming. She started the tradition in 2018 after realizing she'd swam in 26 lakes between British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The next year she went to 36, then 33 last year. Then came her 51st birthday. She was living through a pandemic, with people aching to get out but kept to their homes, but she had a penchant for adventure.

"What really surprised me during the pandemic is people longing to go somewhere else and I was just thrilled to be here and drive around and see new things," she said.

"There's so much to see, and it's wild and untouched beauty."

Guerrero didn't say if she plans to strive for 52 lakes next year, but does hope to one day reach Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park, which is only accessible by float plane.

Submitted by Lara Guerrero
Submitted by Lara Guerrero
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