, Newburyport, MA


July 11, 2013

Summer fun: Going 'out back' to swim


There were a few bushes nearby. We could get behind to change into our swim trunks. As novices we would enter the water at the shallow end. As we progressed in swimming we could dive in off the rocks. Some kids would carry out with them an inflated inner tube. We would take turns with it learning how to kick and use our arms. It wasn’t long before we eliminated the tubes and got along doing the dog paddle. And soon after that we learned how to do the over-arm and backstroke. We had a ball each time we went there. For kicks sometimes when we heard a train coming we’d time it in order to drop our trunks, turn upside down and moon the train.

There were many routes we could take there. No matter which way we went it resulted in a hike of about 4 to 5 miles. Sometimes during the summer we would go there twice a day. Our preferred route would be to cross over March’s Hill to Parker Street. Crawl under a barbed wire fence used to keep the cows in, and go across pastures to Hanover Street in Newbury. The railroad tracks were right there and we would walk the tracks for about a mile or so.

When we got accomplished enough, we’d progress down the tracks from “four rocks” to another creek that widened out. It was called “New Hole.” There we could run and jump and dive into the creek from a muddy banking.

Down farther on the tracks we could work our way to a white painted wooden bridge called “White’s Bridge.” It was a popular spot for older kids. That was on a road that went behind our blueberry picking spot, Old Town Hill. Kids liked it because they could dive and jump off the bridge into the water. The bridge wasn’t that high up off the water and we enjoyed jumping in to escape the swarming greenheads.

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