By Hal Herring
The sunlight had lost its power. My son Harold and his buddy Austin were overdue by a couple of hours at least. They were supposed to be swimming and fishing their way down a couple of miles of winding creek to the next paved road, where they could walk back into town to Austin’s house. Austin’s father was worried about them, and so was I, so I rode with him in his big flatbed, banging down a two-track that was as close as you get to the creek in a truck.
We yelled for them and honked the horn a couple of times. It was late August, and the big cottonwoods of the creek bottom were just starting to turn yellow. The willows and chokecherries there were a massed wall of green, one of the thickest places I know of, a haunt of whitetails, an occasional black bear, more rarely, a grizzly or two. We headed back to the pavement, parked on the bridge and waited, the cool water of the creek rippling below us, wondering silently how much trouble two boys, 11 and 13, could get into in all that jungled bottomland between here and the next road.