The Waterfall – Part 3

Random information about my weekend. I went to the movies this afternoon … saw ‘The Avengers’.

My brain ‘sploded!


The Waterfall – Part 1 … and Part 2 … 

… the saga concludes …

The thunderous ovation from the floodwaters surrounded me. I couldn’t hear or see anything else. The tiny trickle of water cascading down the cliff-face exploded into a vicious muddy torrent that pulled me to the edge of the cliff. For some reason I tried to reach my backpack that I’d left beside the little pool. I think I had some strange idea that I’d need it. Like it could save me if I went over the edge.

The oddest things go through our minds when we’re operating in crisis mode don’t they? When I had the motorcycle accident all I could think of was holding onto my helmet (it almost certainly saved my life) and finding my bike keys, in case somebody tried to steal my bike while I wasn’t there to safeguard it. No matter that I was bleeding out, and had bits of my leg scattered all over the place, and bits of my bike were also scattered all over the place.

As the waters of that flash flood threatened to hurtle me a couple of hundred meters down the side of a cliff, all I focused on was that backpack and how it might save me.

Maybe it did.

The ledge that the little glade had hitched itself to gave way under the pressure of the floodwater. The ferns vanished in an instant. I thought I saw the backpack follow after them and leaned out to grab it. I overbalanced and fell toward the torrent.

In two staggering steps I made it through the water to the other side where the ledge continued on past the waterfall. If I’d stumbled I would’ve fallen into the water and that would’ve been the end of me.

With one secure handhold and one foot on solid rock, I waited out the flood. It felt like forever, and the strangest thing was, I looked around and saw the sun still shining in that clear blue sky, as though nothing untoward had happened.

I laughed. Not hysterically, though I was sorely tempted. Just the kind of laugh that says, ‘I’m alive.’

I waited for an hour or so until the flood passed. The rock had been scoured bare, of ferns, of the dappled pool, of the trail back.

I looked in the other direction. That’s all there was between me and a very uncomfortable set of choices. A bit past where I was standing the ledge widened out to what could properly be called a trail. I had enough adrenaline in me to cross those few short meters and step onto it before my legs gave way.

I collapsed onto the ground and shook, and cried, and laughed, probably hysterically, until a late afternoon breeze offered up the smell of a B-B-Q to remind me that all the best adventures end with a well earned feast. (I wasn’t all that far from ’civilisation’. It just felt like a long, long way away)


After the bike accident, after six surgeries had attempted to put the jig-saw pieces of my leg together in the right order, I finally made it back to coherence, all bandaged up in a hospital bed, and not knowing if I’d ever properly walk on two legs again. I found the keys to my motorbike, (which was also in pieces) on the chest of drawers next to my bed. It took me the longest time to finally let go of them … but that’s another story.


“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows” Doug Larson

17 comments on “The Waterfall – Part 3

  1. Joan Y. Edwards says:

    Dear Widdershins,
    I’m glad you found a way to survive this. You have a great way with words in telling an adventure. Do something to celebrate your belief in your survival abilities!

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards


  2. jannatwrites says:

    This was intense! Glad you made it out safely. It makes me relieved that I don’t have the opportunity to hike around water very often.


    • Widdershins says:

      It all depends on the terrain around your water I suppose … Here, my lake slowly rises and falls with the runoff from snowmelt and rainfall … slower but still that sense of inexorable movement.


  3. Wowza! What an adventure! Your strength and fortitude remind me so much of the Mama. I was whimpering in part 2….We saw Avengers, too. I’d see it again. Great sparring dialogue.


    • Widdershins says:

      Thanks Susieee … When I heard Joss Whedon was directing ‘The Avengers’, (and rewritten the script apparently) I knew it was going to be worth seeing. He didn’t let me down.


  4. It’s the moments you survive, seemingly against the odds, that remind you just how precious and fragile life is. You’ve had a few of those moments, it seems. You lived to tell the tale, well.

    Thanks for sharing you rmoment of life.


  5. londonmabel says:

    Phew! Exciting. Glad you’re still here with us.

    And tell that Doug Larson that I don’t need my weeds to grow in rows, I just need them to stop trying to crowd out everyone else in the yard! Hmph!


  6. Whew! Who need fiction when you’ve experienced this? You should package this up and send it to a survival magazine or something.


  7. Ruth Nestvold says:

    Wow, Widdershins, what an adventure! Glad you made it to the other side – literally!

    And Jennifer has a very good idea, there. 🙂


  8. clarbojahn says:

    Google nature articles for freelancers and see what you get. I subscribe to a Creative Nonfiction Journal that prints stories like this. For money.

    This was really good! All three episodes. I loved the cliff hangers. lol


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