After hiking for hours, we finally reached Devil's Drop, a 30-foot cliff that was a jumping point into the deepest point of the river. He peeled off his cowboy hat, took a deep breath, and let out a scream that sounded more like a brave tribal call as he leapt off. I looked down and saw his head bob up from the inky waters. "Come!" he called out from below.
"No way! I am not doing that!"
Instead, I carefully slinked down the rocky side and made my way down to the edge of the water, a few feet away from where he landed, which, if I may emphasize, is the deepest point. I tested the temperature with my toes. It was cold. He swam over.
"We have to get to the other side."
"Wait, what do you mean?" I asked, nervously.
"We have to swim across this deep part to get to that side," he replied, pointing over to the pebbled shore as he waded around.
"Come! Put your hands on my shoulders and I'll swim you over there."
"What! Really? Is there really no other way to do this?"
"We could climb all the way up and hike over there but this is the fastest way. Trust me."
"Oh gosh, oh gosh," I panicked, "You have to promise not to let go. I'm a terrible swimmer!"
I placed my hands on his shoulders and let my body sink into the water, immediately kicking my legs to keep afloat. The water looked like a pitch-black, bottomless pit enclosed with rocky walls. I felt like I was in a scary movie where a river monster could come out of nowhere with an open mouth and swallow us both in one gulp.
"Oh!" he exclaimed suddenly along the way. The swimming came to a halt.
"What! What! What's going on?"
"There's a huge rock here."
"What?! You're kidding right?" I didn't see a rock in front of us.
"Put your hand out. It's right in front of us. Here, feel it."
I gingerly stretched my arm out and there it was under the surface, a gigantic round smooth rock. I couldn't believe how big it was, just hidden there. I almost expected it to rise up as a slumbering dinosaur.
"Sit on it," he said, "It'll look like you're sitting on top of the water."
So I did. I curled up on it and wrapped my arms around my legs.
"That would make a great ad campaign for something," he said, "Now put your head underwater and take a look."
"No, no," I protested, "I know what it'll look like. Dark water and lots of rocks on the side." I reached my arms out for his shoulders again.
"Oh, c'mon," he laughed, rolling his eyes, "It's so beautiful. Just look."
"Fine," I sighed. I took a deep breath, dipped my head under water, and opened my eyes. Dark water and lots of rocks on the side.
Now that my head had already gotten wet, he made me swim the rest of the way by myself. I made it to shore in one piece: two legs; two arms–just like he knew I would.