I was reading an article in the local paper some months ago, about local swimming holes. My daughter had discovered one, near Massanutten, thanks to friends who live in the area. It had a natural rock slide, and was hidden way back in the woods, so you would only be able to find it if you were a local!
There is one off Rte 259, that is just a bend in the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. Teens congregate there on hot days, parking in the lot of an old garage. On occasional summer weekends, 2 or 3 regulars gather in that same parking lot to set up impromptu yard sales- I have found alot of my garden vegetable plants there from a Mennonite farmer, and great little antique cups, silverware, and odds and ends. I have peered longingly over the edge to the swimming hole, but have never ventured down. It seems understood that this is a teens only spot!
If you grew up here in the Gap, which I did not, you know where all the area swimming holes are. Some have dried up to mere trickles, after the Big Flood of 1985. There is a place not too far from me, that neighbors remember swinging from a rope and leaping into the river. Now that river is not very deep, and no one leaps in, but the sweet memories of childhood remain there- and its stories are repeated, every time someone drives by.
The Shoemaker River, which runs right by my house, has several “deep spots”, and after a rain, was probably a magnet for kids in the area in years past.
Blue Hole, Wittig’s Pond, and others with names only known to those who grew up here, still exist to those who are lucky enough to know their whereabouts.
I heard tell of a local pond the kids would flock to, that was also used by the Brethren Church for their immersion baptisms. The kids remember getting out of the pond, when the Brethren approached, waiting patiently on the bank, til the baptisms were completed. When the church members left, the kids jumped back in! I was told that some immersion baptisms were done in October – bbbrrrr!!! No one died, or got pneumonia, but it was a testament of your faith in God-that you would NOT die from exposure to the elements, from being dunked in a frigid pond on a cold day! If you did contract pneumonia and die, at least you were confident in the knowledge that you had accepted the Lord during your baptism!!
There are still some warm days left – if you feel the urge to find a swimming hole and don’t know where they are hidden – there are many sites online to help you!!! Is there anything that CAN’T be found online????
They only list swimming holes with public access, as far as I can tell, so the ones on private property are forever hidden, known only to those who should know their whereabouts!
All is well, and a little too chilly for swimming, at Mountain Meadows this morning!
‘Life can only be understood backward. but must be lived forward.’—-Curious Case of Benjamin Button
“…we know from daily life we exist for other people first of all for whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.” Albert Einstein