We were splashing in the swimming hole and watching the other families enjoying themselves.
Along came a grizzled man in his 60s wearing farmer overalls. With him were a handsome large dog on a leash and a man in his 20s wearing a life vest.
The younger fellow was apparently learning disabled, as he spent the entire time churning back and forth across the river and yelling garbled statements.
After a bit, the guy in the overalls walked into the water fully clothed, with the dog leash in his hand, and man and dog immersed themselves. Then he got out and opened a 16-ounce can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
I went up and started a conversation with him and he said he lived in a nearby logging town and was a gold miner who used to work with hydraulic suction rigs. It turned out his companion was the son of a sister.
In the water, two large dogs swam seemingly endlessly back and forth across the river, which is 75 feet wide. I asked their “Mom” about it and she said they are actually “elderly girls” and that on land they struggle to get around. But after a trip to the river and the “water therapy” they’re much better for a few days.
Seems like these river hangouts are a tonic for most everyone.