When we finally arrived at the woodland falls, somebody had parked a
I located a few sticks to throw in the water for Lucas. From previous experience, I knew he would be careful, because whenever he draws near a dangerous looking area, like the cascading falls; he approaches very tentatively, sometimes waiting for the stick to float upstream to come into easy grasp. After a while, he got used to the slippiness and saw that if he tiptoed across the moss carefully, it was probably safe to pull a thrown stick from any area of the falls where we played.
After splashing around downstream for a while, I finally submitted to the deep immersion. “Cold!” I cried aloud, while quickly bobbing back to the surface. Reflecting above the water, I wondered what the enduring waterfall here looks like in winter. I thought again about the note and remembered that Wildhorse is where; two decades ago, Marcus shot a Mountain Lion with small ears. They attributed the small ears to the coldness and the fact that the Mountain Lion wintered in an area where it sometimes reaches forty-below. The cutting frostbite, shortened the Cougar’s extremities at its ears, and shaved some length off its tail.
I baptized myself in the water two more times. The third time Lucas came over with a high look of concern to ensure I was okay. This reminded me of a time when Maddie-Lou did the same thing at these very falls and pawed at me while my head was underwater. It was a very sentimental moment for me again, as I had been talking about Maddie with Laura only days before at Shorty’s Diner, where a deep sadness came upon me as Laura spoke Maddie’s name aloud. Her words made me think about Maddie-Lou and Dartmoore and the wonderful lives they led.