Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More on low flow

It felt like we had three days of news today on a day when we were down two people trying to put out a paper. Here is an Internet-only piece I did on the run about low water levels here in the upper third of the Ohio River.

A forgotten swimming hole

I don't know how long this rope has been  hanging from a tree at this particular spot. I assume this was a swimming hole at one time, at the mouth of a creek emptying into the Ohio River. I've been to this spot many times in all four seasons, and I've never seen anyone around this old rope swing.

On this particular hot summer day, there were no signs anyone had been to this spot all summer -- no footprints, no litter, no nothing.

It reminded me of a similar swing on the Ohio side of the river at old Lock and Dam 26 near Eureka (also known as Chambersburg). My older sisters used to go there to swim with a bunch of other teenagers. It's hard to think of those three sisters as teenagers -- they're all in their 60s now, and grandparents, but they were young once. I remember one of them was in the water and a boy decided to swing out and land on or near her. She held out her arm and fist. He landed on her fist with his face, breaking his nose in the process.

Why does no one use this swimming spot anymore? Perhaps it's because of swimming pools, or pollution, or the idea that the river is just too dangerous a place to swim in.

Maybe someday I'll see someone swimming here. But really, probably not.