“Jump,” I tell Janelle over the roar of the water, “you can do this.”
It’s her first bridgeless water crossing. We’re half way across, but she’s stalled at a tricky three-foot jump. She makes jumps like that all the time at soccer, running or just playing in the backyard. But she’s never done it with a pack, over the loud rushing current of the Downes Brook.
“Go ahead,” I say and reach my hand half way to her over the water. “I’ll catch you if you slip.”
She takes a deep breath, and leaps. Turns out we’re both wrong.
She doesn’t have enough forward momentum and as her foot lands she immediately begins to fall backward, her arms pinwheeling wildly. Without an arm to grab, I take hold of one of the shoulder straps of her pack. But she’s followed my directions before we began crossing and unhooked the waist strap of her pack, so my hold only throws both of us off-balance.
And now we’re both tipping, and all I can wonder is will I be able to hold on to her when we hit the water?
Mt. Potash (8/11/12)
Height: 2,680 feet
Location: I-93 exit 32 to Route 112 (The Kanc). About 20 miles east to Downes Brook Trailhead parking area
Our trailhead: Mt. Potash Trail, up and back, via Downes Brook Tail
Distance: 4.2 miles round trip