New insoles in my shoes, I hitched out to the gap. A very large man in a fitting size pickup, picked me up and took me down to the gap. We talked of life and love on the way. He was moving in with his girlfriend and today was the last day to do it, he was a bit hesitant for such a big step. They had been living separately together for quite some time and it was the final step to just move in. We laughed and talked more as he dropped me off at the Jefferson River Bridge.
I hiked down the bridge and thought of Warren Doyle for a moment, was this the bridge we were suppose to jump from, it had to be. I was early, I didn’t want to miss Diesel and Die Free on thier way down. To my surprise I was soon greeted by none other than Huckleberry. God it was so good to see him, we both smiled and greater each other with full vigor and enthusiasm. I excitedly told him do you know what this is? Well it was more like I repeated it over and and over yelling it. Feeding off my excitement he answered nope, yelling back to him I said this was the bridge we were suppose to jump from. His only response was how do you want to do it. Umm we jump of course I responded, little did I know he meant how to record the event.
I told him I would go first as I stripped down to my running shorts, walking down the bridge. I picked a random spot not too far of five shore but a good distance form the pylons. Climbing the railing I looked over to him and he said he was filming. I looked down and steadied my feet, I had to jump from inside the top and bottom railing that was cut into a v support. There wasn’t much footing, pushing out hard, I left into the sky.
My arms swirling a bit, legs bent together, I floated for a moment before losing my perception of depth. The water slowly rose up to me as I hit it hard, making a huge splash, I was sucked under by my momentum. The light disappeared from view as I sank down in the cold refreshing river. Enjoying every second of the feeling of being enveloped in the cool water I slowly swam to the surface. Excited and adrenaline pumping I yelled how awesome it was and said let’s get you now. Swimming shore we swapped positions and I filmed him doing it aswell.
One by one my friends showed up, Deja Vu, Diesel, and Chicago and jumped. We were all excited to see each other and decided to go to town for a milkshake. Recieveing some trail magic form a young couple in town we had an easy ride in. Burgers in mouth shakes in our bellies we laughed and chatted, catching up with each other while other hikers poured in for the same thing. We couldn’t stay forever so the Diesel, Chicago, and myself headed to the shelter two miles down trail. Setting up our gear we built a fire, hell it was a fire for the record books, going from bundle, to teepee, to log cabin, to lean-to, to brick oven over a few hours. When the rain set in our fire kept it’s flame and allowed us some delicious hot meals. With such a good fire and great company we slept alright while we waited for the storm that never came.