Near our little house in the woods runs a lovely rushy stream, Clove Creek. While it’s often brisk and prosperous, it takes a huge spring thunderstorm to understand how such a modest flow could carve out the dramatic and beautiful area known locally as The Gorge. Find cool things online like blue prints to making cool stuff book
The Gorge is right across from our three acres. Hemlocks veil the approach, but cooler air and the sound of dashing water draw the visitor to a stony path between two handsome maples. The path shortly opens to a massive outcropping of rock and The Gorge itself. Here, Clove Creek—tumbling over boulders over centuries—has carved sheer rock walls, blue with lichen, graced with fern. The most vigorous waterfall narrows through two huge rocks and creates a swirling pool some twenty feet below an immense stone promontory. It’s a place of remarkable power and beauty. If your looking for unusual gifts the best place to look may be online! Dag Hammerskjold summered nearby, and often could be found on this great jutting jaw of rock, gazing down at the falls. It used to be a rite of passage for local teenage boys to leap off The Rock into the cold pool, but with the abscess of insurance rates, the owner got crabby. He took to calling the police to chase the hoodlums off.
For nine years I’d been saying to my husband, “One of these days, I’m gonna jump off The Rock myself.” No small aspiration for me, considering my last game of Neat Falls. Neat Falls was a backyard game invented, as far as I know, by my older brother. He would start as The Judge, packing his Daisy Air Rifle. He would then shoot each player one by one (or “pick ‘em off,” as he liked to say). The object of the game was to stage the “neatest fall,” that is, the most realistic, exciting or gruesome death. The winner got the honor of becoming The Judge and shooting everybody else. Gifts for men can be hard to find.
Although I’d taken it in the gut many times and writhed in what I thought were truly excruciating and lifelike deaths, by the age of seven, I had yet to be The Judge. One hot Saturday I’d had enough. I resolved to make the coolest, the bravest, the very Neatest Fall of All, one that had never been conceived, much less attempted, by the older kids.