As a child one of my favorite summer pass times was swimming in the river. A couple of us would walk on the old county road to the slow moving water. There were a few swimming holes that were walking distance; between two and four miles away. If we were lucky one of our parents would pick us up, so we did not have the long trek home. Sometimes I took off my shoes and walked on the white reflective strip on the pavement. It was cooler then the dark asphalt.
I loved swimming under water. It was enchanting and dream like. The rest of the world couldn’t touch me. I could move thru the clear water and touch the sandy bottom.
During winter the school bus used the same road that followed the river. I could see our swimming spots thru the windows. Storms turned the river dark and muddy as it flowed over the banks. Trees would be moved, as the tranquility of the slow moving water was replaced by much stronger and forceful currents.
One winter a tree fell into the river above our favorite swim hole. Water was able to move thru the branches and under the tree, but the passage of anything that could not go with the new flow was blocked.
Early the following summer, a group of river kayakers stopped at the tree. They could have easily carried their boats around the fallen tree, but chose to remove the tree from the water. They attempted to do this by breaking branches and dislodging everything that had gotten tangled in the tree. The river current carried all of the newly freed material through our swimming hole. We got out of the water, as sticks and leaves drifted by. The tree remained, as the actions dislodged some gray water snakes. We watched the snakes as they were carried by the current. This memory still is with me today. At the time I wondered why the people were being so destructive; I still do.