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Diving in the Canyon - a Photo Gallery
Boys of Summer
What is it about boys and summer? Boys and water? The Capilano River Canyon near North Vancouver used to be a favorite summer spot for kids. What better way to spend the long hot summer afternoons than jumping off a cliff?
I visited the canyon with my friend Susan who lived near by. We went for a long walk on a hot August day along the trails high above the fast flowing river. We walked across a beautiful bridge and when we looked down river from the bridge we could see kids jumping off a cliff a little further along so we kept walking and I snapped these pictures.
I'm trying to remember what camera I was using. I think it was my Dad's old Zenit E, a Russian prototype of the Pentax, but don't quote me on that. I really wasn't much of a photographer, but this photo opportunity was too good to pass up and I did my best.
I know the boys seemed happy to have their pictures taken while performing these death defying leaps and I can't help but wonder now who they were and if they made it to the end of summer alive. I should have got their names and an address to send them each a pic but it was not that kind of interaction. They were just there, and we watched them from the safety of a viewing platform protected from falling in ourselves by a sturdy railing.
Looking at these photos now I can see the pure joy and adrenaline rush it must have been for these young lads in their cut-off jeans and longish hair playing jungle boy in the canyon on the last long hot days of summer.
I know I am romanticising about this now looking back through so many years. It was actually a dangerous thing to do, fraught with peril, so many youth have been injured, or drowned doing this same thing. Some hitting their head on an unseen rock. Others swept away by the strong current or snagged by a sunken tree limb.
But the pure joy of the flight is what I'm seeing now looking back and I wonder if I feel this way because it parallels and reflects the leap I was taking in my own life at the time.
I had just completed a first year at University and decided instead of going back I would take some time out from my education and go live in the bush in the wilds of Northern Vancouver Island. It was an exciting time to be young and carefree and looking for adventure off the beaten track on that 'Road Less Travelled'.
Just a Memory
I've hung on to these pictures all these years and never thought much of them. They surface once in awhile when I'm sorting through photos looking for this or that. I always felt a little puzzled why I even have them. These nameless boys in flight.
I think at one time I did display them on a wall or bulletin board above my desk. I know this because a couple of them were taped together in a sort of panoramic full length shot.
So they've stood the test of time and survived to tell the tale as I have myself. I am really pleased to see them published here today.
© 2011 Verlie Burroughs