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Friday, June 12, 2009

Go Jump In The River

T shouldn’t have even brought it up, but it was too late now, he could see that.

In his mind’s eye, Kevin was already jumping.

Kevin pulled over and put it in “park” on the side of the highway. Early afternoon on a bright summer day, there wasn’t much traffic.

T looked at him.

“Well?” Kevin said, “We jumpin’ or what?”

T looked out his passenger window, out over the St. Croix River, the natural border between eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

The jump into the St. Croix River – just outside of Taylor’s Falls – was on the Wisconsin side.

Their work van was now on the side of the road in Minnesota.

“It’s over there,” T offered.

“What am I, made of money? They charge $3 for parking over there!”

“So what, we’re gonna walk?”

Kevin opened the driver’s door.

“No,” he said, grinning. “We’re gonna swim.”

He slammed the door.

The jump off the cliff at Taylor’s Falls is, according to my brother Kevin, 59 feet and four inches. You must jump at least 15 feet out and away in order to clear the granite ledge, just two feet under the water’s surface.

Kevin is a man of experience and strange nunchuk ways. I never question his sources.

Five minutes later, bare-chested, their shirts folded and placed atop their shoes, they stood on the edge of the St. Croix.

“You first,” Kevin said.

And he pushed T into the water.

In hindsight, of course, the current of the river should’ve been taken into account before getting into the water.

Because it’s hard to swim straight across a river.

The story of The Swimming is best heard from the source. It involves wild gesticulation, shivering, and a graphic description – including a fascinatingly inappropriate visual aid – regarding the surprising difference between air temperature and the temperature of a rapidly flowing river.

So we’ll skip over that.

They swam. They jumped. And they lived.

And they were much more tired on the swim back to the van than on the original trip.

But this time, they took into consideration the current.

19 comments:

ICKY said...

Not unlike the time I jumped off of a 80 foot bridge, into a river. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXOhgZCEuV0&feature=channel_page )
What is it with me and jumping into rivers?

Under the Influence said...

Being that I am afraid of heights, just reading this makes my hands sweat!

mrwriteon said...

Sounds like huge fun, even to acrophobic me.

Kavi said...

Man ! Phew. That was something. I am already shivering !

And they took into account the current...!

What a jump ! :)

Pearl said...

Icky, you're a thrill seeker. :-)

Under the Influence, Kevin would've told to close your eyes when you jump!

mrwriteon, see above. :-D

Kavi, two bright boys!!

Douglas said...

The sage words come to mind...

If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?

Apparently, you know someone who would. Even better, you know someone who would instigate it.

(twenty feet into a rockpit... aka "lake"... at night... drunk... is the best I have done)

DouglasDyer said...

Gravity is ravaging my body enough without wantonly throwing myself into its eager arms.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

they sure know how to live (??!!)
Youth is truly when you think you're invincible!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The granite ledge would probably have been a deal breaker for me because ultimately, I like living more than I like living dangerously.

Sweet Cheeks said...

That T....

He's got some big balls.
;-)

@eloh said...

Hope you have a restful vacation.

lizspin said...

That's one (of a long list of things) I would never do!!!

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

Pearl, you bring back some great memories of a time in my life that was so sweetly uncomplicated.

bridge jumping and quarry jumping, I wonder how high we were?

KMcJoseph said...

This sounds like the beginning of some of the stories I hear during the "morning brief" everyday. The stories I hear though don't end so well.

I'm glad they lived.

ICKY said...

Sweet = ;)

Giant = V E R Y !!!

McJoe = I almost drowned in the St Croix. And the 1st. bridge jump was fun, the second split the soles of my work boots, I got a mild concussion, and slightly separated my shoulder. I wouldn't recommend it.
It was a thrill though.

Brian said...

Hell. Fucking. No.

Pearl said...

Douglas, drunken lake jumping. :-D I prefer drunken inline skating!

DouglasDyer, gravity is on my shit list.

Roshni, ah, youth! When everything was possible and nothing hurts!

Heartsinsanfrancisco, Kevin talked me into that jump as well. :-D I managed to miss the ledge, but I lost my bottoms.

Sweet Cheeks, oh, you see what you’ve done now? T is never going to leave you alone now!

@eloh, thank you!

Lizspin, oh, I would never do that stuff now, but thinking about the Taylor’s Falls jump reminds me of the rappelling I’ve done and the parachuting. :-D

Giantspeckledchihuahua, as T says, we were very, very high. And it was good.

KMcJ, there’s a lot of foolishness out there, it’s true.

Icky, aka T, you are truly a freak.

Brian, awww, c’mon!! Everyone’s doing it! :-D OK then. You don’t have to.

Madame DeFarge said...

Clearly entrants for the Darwin Awards. Speaking as someone who can't swim, I can't imagine launching myself into anything deeper than a bath.

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