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  • The boys in cutoff shorts stood at the top of the waterfall, ready to jump.

    The secret waterfall. Don't tell anyone about it. Each time, the glimpse requires in-breath before heading down the climbing rope.

    Margaret once took a photo of me scaling back up. A snapshot that returns in flashback as I climb down, this time, hoping to take the plunge ahead of the rainstorm. "Here's looking at you," the caption read.

    This time, the three of us take the steep hillside to the switchback turn of hardscrabble stones at the bottom. A dog named Chance runs up to greet us. "He doesn't bite." His girlfriend nods, agreeing.

    The rain comes on gently, an idyllic Hawaii moment, circles and circles of ripple on the surface, scattering across our shoulders as we breast-stroke the pool below the falls, ignoring the possibility of snakes. "I've seen a few," says the tall ginger-haired guy after diving into the far-too-shallow for diving area. "But what do you expect? They live here."

    On the way back, past wild raspberry bushes and the giant trees, we take to the playing field, running as the downpour erupts, soaking through Finn's t-shirt that reads "Merci Beaucoup" in huge black letters.
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