The Vantage River flows through central Washington State. It has a bridge across with fancy restaurants on either side. If you went to music concerts at the Gorge Amphitheater, you’d travel across it. At night, it’s whooshing over the rocks chilled the length of my spine. One time, a trucker’s eyes had become heavy, and his truck went over that bridge. He died.
One time at camp, I’d bobbed the depth of the water to the top and back. A lifeguard jumped in to pull me out. I thought I could make it across. A cute girl laughed at me, but she later climbed into my tent.
I had depression as a kid, and one time I thought about jumping over the bridge and just falling into the Vantage River. But I realized it wouldn’t change a thing.
I’d go fishing on the river if I had a father, but I didn’t. So, I’d dream of going fishing. Hell, I’d dream of boating.
People camp on either side of the river and throw wild parties. I’d travel across the bridge every time I went to see my mother’s parents.
My daughter and I cast fishing lines into the Vantage River and set up camp during the Fourth of July weekend. You could see the fireworks explode, flickering as they filtered through the dust and light breeze, splashing into the river.
I gave my daughter’s hand away at a VFW Hall three miles away from Vantage River. I fish here with my grandson.
(© 2020 Andrew Cyr)