The feeling you get just before hitting the water.

Growing up in a mountain town, you learn to make your own fun. Which sounds like such a cliche, I know, but it’s true.

In high school, most extracurricular activities — legal and, otherwise — revolved around the outdoors. In the winter it was skiing or snowmobiling. Tubing on Peet’s Hill. Oh, and Hookey-bobbing. Which just means hanging onto your friend’s car bumper while the driver pulls you along icy streets. Alcohol and a complete absence of common sense go a looong way.

In the summer it was waterskiing and floating the rivers. It was sitting in natural hot springs [keeping a watchful eye out for bears]. Flyfishing. And cliff jumping.

Yes, THIS.


The key was to point your toes and keep your hands at your sides. Forget this important detail, and … well … we’d all heard the stories of people splitting the bottoms of their feet and the palms of their hands wide open upon impact.

Sometimes, we’d go well past dark, gathering around a bonfire on the bank opposite the cliffs. Inevitably, someone would rally a few fellow idiots willing to throw caution to the wind and jump blindly into the night. Those of us who chose to stay dry [and continue drinking], would aim our car headlights at the face of the cliffs, sit back in our lawn chairs and watch for a split-second glimpse of the jumpers before they disappeared into black waters.

Miraculously, there were never any serious injuries sustained as a result of THIS pasttime. When I think of what COULD’VE happened, my heart skips a beat.

If you can, just for a moment, forget about the sheer stupidity of this scenario.

The feeling of stepping off that cliff’s edge — of breathlessly falling through thin air … the delicious blissed-out mixture of exhilaration and freedom and healthy fear …

That’s how I’ve felt all day.


Filed under Thrilled to Pieces

18 responses to “The feeling you get just before hitting the water.

  1. That’s totally a guy watching you, isn’t it?

    You are fearless, Mommypie. Fearless!

    (Did he jump?)

    And, yes, last night was amazing.

  2. Awesome analogy. If I may extend it a bit further…? You know how in the Roadrunner cartoons, that stupid coyote always gets tricked into going over the cliff and he hangs there in the air for a second, feet still spinning, and then looks down and realizes he’s well and truly f*cked? That was the feeling in 2000. And then you know how the coyote falls? That was 2000-2004. And then in 2004, there that damn coyote is, still freaking falling and actually starting to wonder if he’s not going to smash into the ground after all, because WHO KNEW you could fall that far? And then, the results came in and yep, ka-smoosh, right? Then 2004 through the other night, the coyote has been peeling himself up off the ground and limping around all two-dimensional for 4 years just waiting for a package from ACME to fix his flattened spirit and body (but stay out of his bedroom and uterus [oh please. Yes, he’s a boy. This is a metaphor, people.]) and then the other night, what arrives? Yep. The package. (And don’t tell me the ACME stuff never works. It was always the stupid coyote’s fault that it didn’t work.)
    Wow. Sorry I hijacked your comments (and metaphor.) But it’s so freaking exciting!

  3. Exhilarating is the best possible word for all of it.

  4. another co-worker

    Hate to break it to you, MommyPie, but the park service blasted those cliffs off the face of the planet about two years ago. Apparently too many people broke their backs when jumping. I remember seeing one guy drunkenly blast another guy in the armpit with a Roman candle at the cliffs once. He then had to float down the river for about an hour in excruciating pain before he got to a car.

    Ahhh…good times.

  5. Soul Assassin. You.

    (The two “asses” in there are dedicated to the asshats who ruined such an awesome thing.)


  6. heck, i just thought you GOT SOME. though, i trust that isn’t the case, i won’t rain on your parade. or something.

    love the picture.

  7. This is the *one* area where we are not twin-like. I always wanted to cliff jump, but my hypochondria and fear of death by skull contusion prevented me.

    Still, I can imagine what it felt like to jump, and that’s how I think I feel right now, too.

  8. PAPA — He DID jump. But only after me. 😉

    Waltz — Copy and paste and you have tomorrow’s post, Baby! Awesome.

    Mental P — It really is so simple, huh?

    Rick’s Cafe — OMG LOVE it! I know where I’M doing my Christmas shopping. Wadda ya want?

    MOFM — No such luck. Wah.

    SDM — Trust me, every time I did this it took a LOT of deliberation.

    blissfully caffeinated — Love ya.

  9. singleworkingmommy

    I keep looking at that picture. Friggin’ awwwe-some.

    I was with MOFM–I thought you got “some” too… What some is was yet to be decided.

  10. I will be re-creating that feeling Saturday at Six Flags. I am so jazzed about our country right now. Well, more than usual.

  11. How far of a drop off the cliff was that?
    Holy mackerel.
    I am in awe of WaltzinExile’s comment. Wish I could say it that well.
    Jazzed? Heck yeah!

  12. there isn’t enough zanax in the world that could calm me down enough to make that jump. 😉

  13. You are awesome. That is seriously impressive. I jumped once off a cliff MUCH shorter than that one and felt like I was flying. It’s the perfect metaphor for the exhilaration of this week. Perfect.

  14. and that is why parents of teens never sleep through the night. as someone once told me, “it’s a life sentence” (parenting).

    the election: was there any doubt?

  15. Wait — you feel like you’ve just had a high-speed enema?

    I think I may need to reread this.

  16. Isn’t being young and stupid great? I remember skinny dipping in the ocean at night (UM – WHEN THE SHARKS COME OUT), having sex in VERY public places, and getting on jet skis with strange perverted older men.

    But hey – it was fun!

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