Sally Lincoln-Vogel enjoyed Pomps Pond to the very last minute this summer. She was the last swimmer when the town pond shut down Sunday, Aug. 14.
She's a pond faithful, and swam at Pomps just about every day this season.
"There's something about the woods, sky, water...just very calm," she said of Pomps, which she calls "a hidden treasure."
"Even in a light rain, I swim. It's just beautiful," she said.
It's was just an eight-week swim season at Pomps, from June 18 to Aug. 14, meaning the town beach closes more than three weeks before the first day of school
"I think Pomps closes too early," she said.
Lincol-Vogel will now head back indoors for her swimming exercise because nearby outdoor options are limited. Berry Pond in Harold Parker used to be an outdoor swimming option when Pomps closed, but it is now closed, she said.
All winter she swims laps at the local YMCA, but indoor swimming just doesn't compare to outdoor swimming for Lincoln-Vogel.
She was the second one in the water when Pomps opened last June 18.
"Some man beat me," she said. "I always try to be the first one."
Mary Montbleau, director of the town's Department of Community Services which runs the pond, said the pond closes in mid-August because most staffers are college-age and are getting ready to return to school.
Montbleau considers it a safety issue, as she does not want to leave young lifeguards working alone at the pond. In 2000, in rural Massachusetts, lifeguard Molly Bish, 16, of Warren, was abducted and then murdered while working as a lifeguard.
Her body was found three years later.
"It's a safety issue and we don't want to cut back on staff," Montbleau said. "We just won't do it."
Overall, pond business was good this summer. Montbleau said a good way to tally visitors involves the parking lot.
It holds 50 cars. Beach business forced staffers to park at nearby Recreation Park.
Usually, a few hot days requires staffers to do that. But this year, staffers parked there every day, Montbleau said.