Winter is here, and even with two pairs of wool socks covering my feet in heat-trapping warmth, the toes inside are still cold. I am thankful for the sheep that gave its fleece for my feet to be warm but I am realizing, the older I get, there are fewer and fewer things that keep the chill out of the digits at the end of my feet. The one thing I think that would warm my toes so perfectly right now is the one thing that I have to wait six long months for; the summer sun.
Second Falls: A story of Adventure in Four Parts: The Pretty Part
I miss the summer sun. Not just for the reason that it warms my toes, but more importantly, without the summer sun I can’t be swimming in my most favourite place on the planet; Leech Brook.
Readers with an irrational fear of slimy, black, aquatic, blood-sucking invertebrate are shivering in their seat right now wondering how in the world I can swim in a place called Leech Brook? Don’t let the name frighten you away. You can’t really judge a body of water by its name. I spent eight summers working at a children’s camp located on a body of water called Three Arm Pond, and in all my days swimming there, not once did I ever come across three arms in that water, (or any other body parts). I did encounter a four foot eel once but I couldn’t tell the kids about that or they would never swim in that pond again. (Just to clarify the eel didn’t have four feet, nor three arms.) If the name turns you off so much then you can always refer to it by its old Indian name, Thunder Brook. Now, readers with an irrational fear of the old Norse god Thor, or those suffering from brontophobia are quaking in their seat right now wondering how in the world I can swim in a place called Thunder Brook.
People think its weird that I should love swimming in a brook named after leeches. Once you’ve been there the name no longer matters. Over the next few posts, I am going to share with you about this place; with hopes of helping us forget about the huge piles of snow and bitter winds that stand between us and that toe warming season of Summer.
Located nine miles west of my hometown, the brook eats its ways through the hills of Newfoundland on its journey to the Exploits River. Through the process of erosion, aided by glaciers during the last ice age, the water has gouged out of solid rock some of the most perfect places for swimming.
The one place I am going to focus on is called Second Falls. I figure that it got its name for being the second in a series of three waterfalls located on the brook. Don’t take my word for it though, its just an opinion.
The forty foot cascade is located in a corner were two very steep cliffs meet. These two perpendicular walls of rock make up two of the three sides enclosing Second Falls. The third side is a gigantic slab of rock worn smooth by the grinding weight of glacial ice and tipped at a forty-five degree angle.
Below are some pictures of this place that I’m sure make you want to jump right in right away.
But for that, you’ll have to wait for tomorrow when I share the different techniques to achieve entry.
Stay warm till then!