Clear Creek

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Joanna Schumacher writes, The rising heat from the radiant sun shines down on my cheek.

The rising heat from the radiant sun shines down on my cheek. Laughter and yelling overpower the sound of the river. The rapidly moving water slams and squeezes through the cold slippery rocks. Reaching over the edge of a warm rock I dip my foot in. Its surprisingly cool against the warm air. I step all the way in. Looking up against the current, I check to see that the coast is clear. Yep, it is, no red or blue kayaks are charging downward only to stop at the spot to show off their tricks.Walking farther out, the water creeps even further up my knee. It becomes harder for me to stand against the current that is trying to shove me down. Once I’m in the middle of the almost chaotic place, I look at the thrill I’m about to endure. Two rocks are on either side of the river. The water glides over them for about three feet when it suddenly dips and is thrown further down changing it scared white. Almost as white as the first winter snow. Straight through the middle it is more smooth like a slide. Well, at least until it too slams into the white moving pit.The pit is deceiving and appears to be shallow and full of rocks underneath its surface. I think back on the first time I had come here with my sister. She had told me, “The first jump is always a killer!” I look back down in front of me and think how right she is. No matter how many times I come here, the first jump always takes my breath away.I’m filled to the top with adrenaline. My heart is pounding hard in my chest. That’s when I think to myself, “Yea, this is why I love this place.” One thing I learned from my first visit is how you can’t dwell on the jump. Too much anxiety builds up. You have to just go for it.I dive head first straight for the rushing pit. I’m a rag doll being sucked and tossed everywhere under the surface. Never once being harmed though. All you have to do is keep swimming upward. My head finally breaks through the water’s seal. I take in a deep breath while I’m pushed down the river. I reach the side and pull myself out. Flop! I drop on a warm rock like a fish out of water. In and out, my lungs refill and the baking sun instantly starts to dry my dripping skin.My tongue glides against my lips. The water tastes fresh. Although its from a river and I would never drink it, those few drops don’t count. My eyelids seal the sun from coming in. Oh how I wish I could come to this place everyday. I feel alive here. Daring, crazy, and delighted. It fulfills a side of me I don’t have anywhere else. The side that’s afraid to do anything that could be dangerous. Here, I am complete.