American River

Kathleen Hopkins | Fair Oaks, California

I grew up on this river, and enjoyed it daily. My friends and I rafted in inner tubes because we had no money for rafts. It was dangerous, and people drowned every year, but that did not stop us. I once jumped off the Fair Oaks bridge! Of course, I knew it was not a smart thing to do but that didn’t stop me. I nearly drowned that day because I couldn’t move my legs after I hit the water, but because of years as an athlete my arms were strong, and I was able to power myself to the bank and climb out using just my arms. I would not do that again, but I have a fond memory of it! After all, I was a 15-year-old girl, and there were boys on the bridge daring each other to jump and they were obviously afraid. I jumped just to show them that girls are bad asses!

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