Reading In The Creek


One of my absolute favorite summertime solitude activities is to float in the creek and read. There is somewhat of a ritual to this. First I do some sort of dirty, sweaty yard work. Then around 2 or 3 pm when the sun, humidity, and heat are at their fiercest, I pack a beach bag with water, a snack, sunscreen, sunglasses, reading sunglasses, a sun hat, a beach towel, and a magazine or two. I cover my hair with a bandanna, place the inner tube on my head, and walk half a mile up the road to the nice swimming hole at the far bridge. Once there, I precariously climb down the rocks to the water, then gingerly make my way a little upstream to the three foot waterfall and the deep pools around the big rocks. The water here is clear and cool with a green blueish tint. The rocks underwater in the current are slimy with algae and ones in the eddies are slippery covered with fine mud red silt and clay. This year one boulder that stands 4 or 5 feet above the water has a hole deep enough to jump into. Standing quiet and still before jumping, I have seen many small and several large fish who dart away in response to a wave of my arms! After jumping a few times and swimming around a little, I settle down into the inner tube with my reading glasses and a magazine, usually Discover, Sierra, or American Whitewater. The tube floats lazily around in circles in the big eddies surrounding the river boulders. If I bump into shore or a rock, I kick off and continue floating. Eventually the tube runs aground sitting at the top of a shallow rapid, where I will just sit and keep reading until I feel like pushing off into the eddy again. Sun, fluffy clouds, blue sky, floating in cool fresh water, bird song, and the sound of water rushing over rocks. This is a perfect summer pass-time!


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