What made this part of Black Canyon unique was the canyon bottom. Standing at the rim of the canyon wall a hundred feet above the river, one could view a piece of God’s artwork at its best. The canyon bottom was formed by molten lava that had flowed, and later hardened, to form a flat surface similar to that of a giant patio. This patio-like canyon floor was approximately a mile and half long and five to six hundred feet wide. Scattered along this giant patio were several large holes that made up the various pools of water where Buddy and his friends enjoyed swimming. They varied in size from twenty-five to forty feet across.
There was a larger pool just down river from the 23 called the “60,” and though the boys swam there also, the 23 was still favored because it was somewhat smaller, which enabled the sun to heat the water to a warmer temperature. Because the water flowed so slowly through this section of Black Canyon, it was nearly stagnant. Not so stagnant that it became foul, but stagnant enough that the sun was able to heat some of the pools to a near tepid state.
Buddy was standing waist deep in the pool on a rock ledge about three feet below the surface of the water. It was about thirty feet across the pool and Buddy wondered if he could make it to the other side. He had mastered the dog paddle pretty well, but he had only dared venture a few feet from the safe haven of the edge of the pool. Although he felt he was ready, he had never mustered the courage to attempt a crossing. Today, he thought, is the day I should try it. Continue reading →