Char-Koosta News

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Brave (or foolish) souls take the Polar Plunge...brrr!

By Lailani Upham

Brad Big Sam makes a mad dash and icy splash for the shore. Big Sam has been taking the yearly Polar Plunge for seven years. Although he indicated this year the water was much warmer he added his feet occasionally stuck to the rocks. Previous years when the lake was covered with ice, he experienced cuts from the ice on his legs during the run. (Lailani Upham photo) Brad Big Sam makes a mad dash and icy splash for the shore. Big Sam has been taking the yearly Polar Plunge for seven years. Although he indicated this year the water was much warmer he added his feet occasionally stuck to the rocks. Previous years when the lake was covered with ice, he experienced cuts from the ice on his legs during the run. (Lailani Upham photo)

POLSON — It was an “exhilarating” start of 2014.

Polar Plunges launched nearly every hour on the shores of Flathead Lake on New Year’s Day.

The annual Polson Polar Plunge drew residents and holiday visitors to take the dive into the ice cold but not so icy Flathead Lake last Wednesday.

Many of the New Year’s lake divers had a common reason of taking a winter dip to bring in the New Year with refreshment and to “start it out right.”

The sane ones stand bundled up and ready to shoot the action on the docks at Riverside Park minutes before the Plunge. (Lailani Upham photo) The sane ones stand bundled up and ready to shoot the action on the docks at Riverside Park minutes before the Plunge. (Lailani Upham photo)

Some described the plummet in the winter lake as “a bunch of knives hitting you at once.”

Another added, “It hurts at first, then you’re numb.”

One local resident stated their purpose was “to wash off 2013 and bring on 2014.”

No matter the age or location, all agreed they felt revived after the brisk splash dash.

Brave dunkers prepare to do the dunk in trunks. Plungers and spectators carefully approached the shore while working at keeping a balance on the black ice that covered the parking lot and boat dock. (Lailani Upham photo) Brave dunkers prepare to do the dunk in trunks. Plungers and spectators carefully approached the shore while working at keeping a balance on the black ice that covered the parking lot and boat dock. (Lailani Upham photo)

Tribal member David Daniels, a resident of Berkley, Calif., says he has been returning home for the holidays for the past five years and never misses the chance to take the rejuvenating plunge.

“It’s like overcoming a mental obstacle. It’s a good way to conquer it at the first of the year,” Daniels added.

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