Clarks Pool Swimming Hole

Swimming hole trip #2 with the IV peeps today. This time around, we went to a spot in Auburn, about two hours north of Berkeley.

The location was a bit different from the last one we went to – it was mostly a large pool of water from the American River with some rocks for jumping. Fun fact: the tallest bridge in California, the Foresthill Bridge, overlooks this swimming hole. Talk about an awesome backdrop.

The group parked, hiked for a bit, and arrived at a beautiful area surrounded by trees. Warmed up by doing jumps off the rocks on the other side of the water, and even swam our lunches over to enjoy the food in the sun.

My biggest accomplishment of the day was learning and perfecting the gainer flip. The gainer is a backwards somersault using the momentum from a forward jump. First couple of times, I didn’t carry enough momentum and managed to land on the top of my head in the water.

A guy who had been watching us jump swam over and gave me some useful pointers, and by the third time around, I finally did it! Definitely felt great – and I thought I was good for the day.

Soon after, we learned that there was a much taller cliff around the bend that we could jump off of. We swam over and saw it – now this was a TALL cliff. After climbing up, I was planning to do a pencil jump when a crazy thought hit me. Why not test out the gainer I’d just learned?

Before I could overthink it (which wouldn’t have been a bad thing), I did it. And then again after. The adrenaline that came never felt better.

We enjoyed watching other people jump off the cliff – including an absolutely crazy guy who swan-dived from that 30-foot cliff and foot-grabbed while jumping down face first.

By then it was about time to head out, so a quick hike back to the cars and we were on our way back home.

After the trip, a realization hit me that I’m having an amazing summer. This has probably been one of the most fun and most event-filled summers that I’ve had, and I’m thankful for the good times and enjoying every moment of it!

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