Well as with the last post it’s difficult coming up with a memory that will qualify as the “best one” of my childhood. I guess I’ll go with the waterfall trip. (Note I was nine at the time so it was kinda childish – but hence the childhood memory)

So it’s summer in 2008 or 2007 or something (I had turned 9 or 10 – don’t remember) and my dad’s friend invited him to this big camping event in the mountains. Since it was summer the mountain rivers were warm enough to wade around in, so we (my family) packed our swim stuff along with everything and drove there. There were about 5 families there, kids included, so it was quite a fun fest. First we (the kids and I)  just played tag for an hour, then gorged ourselves on junk food from the table…then made tree-bark boats and raced them down the river. And did all sorts of fun stuff like that for most of the morning.

Around mid-afternoon, my dad told us to come with him somewhere (he said it would be a surprise, but told us to take our swim trunks along) We walked uphill for above five minutes, and then, suddenly in front of us was a water slide.

Anticlimax much. Redo.

Apparently the mountain river was going along the mountain for thousands of years, and it smoothed out this stretch of rock along its course. So rewind: here we are, several kids and grownups, and right ahead there’s this HUGE MINKFLIPPING BIGAPPLE HONEST-TO-GOD 20-FOOT NATURAL WATERSLIDE right in front of us, and there are WATERFALLS on either side and a small lake at the bottom…the El Dorado of playgrounds. The rest of the afternoon passed in no time. I think I probably went down the slide  10 times at least. Tubing had NOTHING on that. But the best part was to come.

The sun was getting low in the sky and people were leaving so my dad told us we’d have to go soon. I decided to swim around in the pool at the base of the waterslide. Suddenly my dad calls, “Let’s go under the waterfall!” I swam over to the right-hand one. Curiously, I couldn’t see Dad anymore, but then I heard his voice BEHIND the waterfall: “Come on in! It’s awesome in here!”

I thought this would be like the hot tubs at Lifetime, because they have small waterfalls there too. Lifetime was OWND, unfortunately, by nature. a) because this was one bigapple waterfall, about 100 Lifetime waterfalls put together, and b) because even in the summer, the water is still COLD. I was really scared to go in at first but finally swam under it. I tried to surface inside the waterfall, but apparently that’s impossible with 2000 gallons pouring down on you every second, so I tried again. This time I swam behind it, and when I surfaced, the Lord’s name was not used in vain. There was this mini-cave behind the waterfall, an honest to gods, all-said-above pirate cave like in the movies. It extended only several feet back but that was enough to get away from the waterfall. So I’m in this pirate cave with my dad, the waterfall thundering several feet away; the dark stone surrounding us on three sides and the water making a fourth, sparkling side. Cool, non?

We went home the next day after doing a bunch of other interesting stuff, but this particular experience has stood out as one of my best childhood memories ever.