It's summer again, and time to go swimming! Deep Eddy is a good pool to restart this series with, so let's dive (hawhawhawsnort) right in!
The pool: Deep Eddy is big, cool, and fed by unchlorinated well water.
The water is a little chilly but not as cold as Barton Springs; personally I find the water temperature delightful.
I like this pool because there's something for everyone: a zero-depth entry portion for people with babies and toddlers, a large expanse of three-foot water to float and play in, dedicated lap lanes, a deep end for those who need a little extra space beneath their feet, and acres of grass shaded by oaks and pecans for those who just want to stretch out, read, and doze.
Public art: Deep Eddy boasts the finest public art of any pool in Austin in the form of an exceptionally cool mosaic mural that was installed a few years ago. It should probably get its own post, but hey, we're already here.
It was completed before I started doing mosaics, which is too bad because I would have loved to work on it.
The mosaic uses water and river imagery to carry along the story of the pool, the land it sits on, and the river that feeds it.
Schoolchildren participated in the project by creating tiles to be incorporated in the design.
"Winners never quit, and quiters never, but those who never win and never quit are stupid." I need to work that into my personal philosophy somewhere.
Lap lanes: They have a lot of lap lanes at Deep Eddy, but while I'm a fan of pool etiquette in general I have to say I'm intimidated by the lap culture at this particular pool. Nine seems like a lot of rules, and you can just tell someone's going to make it a point to let you know if you inadvertently break one. I stick to the shallow end here.
The vibe: Lap-lane anxiety aside, I like the scene. A couple visits ago I walked past a guy sunning himself on the low wall on the back of the pool. "This is so great," he said to no one in particular.
"It's awesome," I agreed, and he sat up, grinning, and said, "Fucking awesome!"
Also there is plenty of good people watching and gangs of awkward teenagers and hordes of adults like me and my friends in addition to the usual families and anyway, it's just fun to go there.
Amenities: The WPA-era bathhouse there in the background was renovated recently. I can't speak to the men's side, but the women's open-air changing and shower area is now clean, modern, spacious, and pleasantly shaded.
I guess there are some rules for non-lap swimmers here too, but they're easy enough to follow.
And oh! I forgot to mention that Jim-Jim's Water Ice runs a stand here during peak times, and their flavors are really good.
Deep Eddy is an Austin classic for a reason; you should totally go as often as possible.
Details: 401 Deep Eddy Drive. Adults $3, teens $2, kids and seniors $1; really old people and babies, free. Open for general swim March-October; I think the lap lanes are open longer but I've never really been clear on that.