Have you ever done something scary? I have. If someone told you to jump off a cliff would you do it? I did.

Seven years ago we went on a camping trip to an awesome campground (with a funny name) called Dinkey Creek located in the Sierra National Forest near Shaver Lake.

There are so many great places to camp in the Sierra National Forest, but it’s not exactly close. The car ride was about four and a half hours long. (But totally worth it. We’ve been to a lot of campsites in California and Dinkey Creek is definitely our favorite.)

This picture tells you just about everything you need to know about our kids’ personalities.

We’d been there the year before and we loved it because we felt its beauty rivaled Yosemite. (Plus, unlike Yosemite, there are no bears!)


We got a sweet camp site to call home for a few days.


We found an out-of-the way hike to these beautiful granite pools.



There were swimming holes that Dave and the kids swam in. I tried to swim with them but found the water much too cold. It actually made me feel like I couldn’t breathe.

BRRR! (My husband is a good sport and one awesome dad to get into that freezing water.

Back near our campsite there was another swimming hole with a natural rock water slide. Kids would take blow-up rafts -the kind you would usually lounge in a swimming pool on- and ride down it.

Imagine going down this on a blow-up raft. So fun!

Our beloved dog Pearl loved climbing the big rocks. She loved resting in the shade even more.

Pearl Girl taking a rest.

There was also a swimming hole with a big rock that people were jumping off. A BIG rock. It was probably 30 20 feet high. (Dave says 15, but I’m sticking to 20.)

Chandler wanted to jump. He was only nine years old, but I was excited that he wanted to do something so daring. (See photo above!) The water was deep and it looked safe. Scary as shit. But safe.

But Chandler was hesitant. (Who wouldn’t be?) I could tell that he wanted to do it more than he didn’t want to do it, so I told him if he jumped then I would too.

So he jumped.

(Well, there may have been some hemming and hawing and pacing back and forth involved.)

That’s my boy!

He liked it so much he did it again.

After the splash

Afterward he swam back to us and told me it was my turn.


I wasn’t lying when I told him I’d jump, but I wasn’t really serious. I figured he’d jump and feel good about himself and not hold me to my end of the bargain. I asked him if he really wanted me to. He said he did. So I swam to the other side and climbed the rock.

Feeling confident

And then I looked down. Rocks aren’t like cliffs. (Not that I’ve ever jumped off a cliff.) They kind of curve and you can’t really walk to the edge. You sort of have to push off and jump up and out. (In retrospect I should have checked out the jumping situation for Chandler’s sake from the top of the rock before giving him permission.) I stood at the rock and I couldn’t do it. It was too scary. There was no way I could jump.

I looked at Chandler across that water and called out to him, “I’m sorry Buddy. I don’t think I can do it. I’m so proud of you for jumping, but it’s too scary for me.”

And he started to cry.

“You promised,” he said. “You said if I jumped you would jump. You promised.”

And the fear of willingly breaking a promise and disappointing my son outweighed my fear of jumping.

So I took a deep breath. And I plugged my nose (because I’m so graceful).

And I jumped.


And I will never ever ever do something like that again! (But I’m glad I did it that once.)

*This blog post was inspired by Mama Kat’s weekly writing prompt. The prompt I chose was: Talk about a time you faced a fear. (I hope that was obvious.)

Mama Kat workshop logo

I’d love to hear about a fear that you’ve faced.

12 thoughts on “Jump!

  1. There is a place here in Missouri called Johnson’s Shut-ins State Park that has a lot of water flowing over and through rock. In one of the lower areas there is a deep pool with a progressively rising cliff on one side. I remember going there as a child and being terrified jumping from just eight feet up into the water. I don’t have a problem with heights…it’s the ability to take that step that is challenging!

  2. I love it! Yay for you! I know that feeling of looking over a rock cliff to water below. We’ve boated and camped at Lake Powell for years – with huge red rock cliffs. And i don’t think I could do it – except, of course, if like you, my refusal to do so made my son cry….not fair! One cool mom you are and your son will always remember that! Dinkey Creek, by the way, looks like a fantastic place. Thanks for sharing the secret.

  3. Oh Charlene, I don’t know why I started laughing when I read about your dear son over there crying and you up on that curved rock not wanting to jump. That would so have been me. I HATE to drop. Give me a fast roller coaster fine but a drop? My husband was dragging me on Tower of Terror and I did not want to go. Then I got to my spot and buckled in next to two 9 year olds who were terribly excited at the prospect of the whole dropping thing. I was like good grief — relax. And Dinkey Creek looks beautiful. Growing up there was a water ski dock and beach near us called Dinky Dock. Without the E.

  4. Wow, I really don’t think I could have done it…actually I KNOW I couldn’t have done it. Faced with the same (thank goodness pre-kids no extra pressure there) situation and did not jump. Well done mama.

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