HORSETAIL FALLS, OREGON
view of this 208 foot high falls on the Columbia River Highway – only minutes
away from Portland on the New Freeway. ©1969 D.P.I. DT-58413-C
around me was eager to carry me to the falls. The tree trunk was turning
steadily to its side. My anchor dropped out from under me. I leaped weakly from
the trunk to the rock it was resting on. My hand darted about the stone for
handholds on its smooth surface. The tree trunk was still sliding to the left
and it pushed me back into the water. The water did not feel cold anymore. I felt
an edge but before I could slow myself down it caught me in the neck. Ice. Ice
still attached to the far shore. I pulled my arm above the cracking ice. The
current pulled hard against me and my waterlogged clothes. I was too weak to
pull myself out of the water. My vision was blurry. I squeezed them together.
It took me a moment to realize the dark blur in front of me was my own arm
fumbling around on the ice struggling to keep me above the water. I squeezed my
eyes together and breathed deep and when I opened them, I could already see an
outstretched hand. The shackles of the river had me by the ankles.