Adam and I were playing in the woods around a cluster of Redwood trees, we had named, “Darby’s Castle.” It was play off the old song, our last name and the fact that the trees created a natural fort, if you knew how to get inside.
It was situated on the right side of the old logging road that lead deep into the National Park’s “Experimental Forest.” While that’s what the sign read at the park’s entrance, we had no idea what it meant.
Anyway one late Sunday afternoon, the two of us were exploring the area, when I fell through a hole near a large fallen tree. I grabbed the end of a tree branch in order to keep from falling all the way to the bottom.
As I screamed for Adam to come help me, my mind raced and pictured all sorts of horrible things that could be waiting for me if I couldn’t hold on. It could have been a bear den or held some other wild animal or have pointed sticks to fall on or worse, be bottomless.
Adam struggled to pull me out. But I was too heavy for him to lift.
So he ran all the way home to get help. It felt like forever, but soon Dad rumbled up in his old Studebaker truck, to rescue me.
He yanked me out of the hole and made sure I was okay. Then he grabbed the large flashlight he normally wore with his service uniform and peered down the hole.
He looked up at me in disgust. He also complained about being pulled away from the last couple minutes of a football game he was watching.
I figured I was in deep trouble. But then he laughed, letting me off the hook.
Looking down the hole, I could see it ended about half a foot from where my feet had been dangling.