David took the truck and trailer to the take-out point several miles downriver while the rest of us waited and applied thick coats of poisonous industrial chemicals to repel the ravenous mosquitoes and deer flies.
Once in the water, everything was simply perfect. The day was warm and cloudless. The current was steady and the water was cool and refreshing. Hard to believe that in four months the river will be covered in ice floes.
I slipped over the side of the canoe into the swift current, and thrashed my way over to the bridge footing. I climbed up the slick, tumbled granite and looked down from what appeared to be a great height. The water was dark and roiling. There were no obvious protruding boulders, and it was impossible to see below the surface. I couldn't remember exactly where those kids had jumped in. All of my friends were watching. I couldn’t back out. I jumped.
After we returned back to the cabin, David remembered that the cart used to haul the coolers was still sitting in the woods near the place where we put in the canoes. I volunteered to go get it, despite the fact that dusk was approaching, and huge squadrons of mosquitoes and deer flies were patrolling the area.
I walked down the long driveway, waving my arms spastically in a futile effort to keep the insects away, consumed with dread as I approached the deep woods.