Depth. 81 Ft.
Diameter 60 Ft.
Outflow 3000 Gal. Per Min.
“You can jump in and cool off if you’d like. It’ll take your breath away.”
I turned around and introduced myself to Curtis, one of the handful of people who passionately and diligently work to protect and keep the Blue Hole clean.
“Better not. I don’t want to make my dog jealous.”
“Blue is the most common favorite color,” my professor said. People associate shades of blue with royalty and creativity.
“Of course, blue is also connected with sadness and depression,” he added.
I took off my shoes and walked down the stairs to let my feet soak in the coolness. For quite some time, I just stood and stared in silence as wave after wave of inspiration and sadness washed over me. I took a few pictures, trying to capture the richness of the blue, but did my best to forever imprint the color on my memory.
A busload of teenagers pulled up to the Blue Hole. A church group at a summer camp having fun with each other, encouraging one another, enjoying all of creation. They made a beeline straight for the rock ledge diving area.
“CANNONBALL!” one of the boys screamed at the top of his lungs and launched himself mightily off the edge of the rock ledge. The boy misjudged the distance from the launching point to the top of the water. Instead of landing square on his seat, however, he over-rotated and landed flat on his back.
The skin-meeting-watery-surface slap echoed and was followed by sympathetic groans from the gathered crowd. The boys from the bus laughed and pointed fingers. One of the adults rushed over to confirm the boy was fine.
“HOLY CRAP! IT’S FREEZING!” the boy shouted as soon as he surfaced.
“Yeah, he’s fine,” the leader confirmed.
I thoroughly enjoyed vicariously swimming in the Blue Hole, watching the boys and girls jump in and swim off shivering, only to get back in line and do it again.
Dad would have loved seeing the Blue Hole. He probably would have jumped in with all of his clothes on and pulled me in with him. That simple thought kept a smile on my face most of the way across Texas.
“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
— Amelia Earhart
I thought the drive through Dallas was going to kill me. Even Fagan seemed to be on edge through the construction and 100-mph traffic in the slow lane. I may or may not have said a few choice words toward several co-commuters, telling them where they could go and what they could do. Any serenity gained from the Blue Hole was lost around downtown.
When we took trips, Dad always drove through the major cities. The only time I saw Dad lose his cool behind the wheel was in Chicago.
We were trying to get to Navy Pier to ride the famed Ferris Wheel and pose for pictures by the massive anchor from the U.S.S. Chicago. As co-pilot, Dad trusted me to give him directions and significant advance notice of upcoming turns. I grew up using Rand McNally road atlases to guide him here and there and everywhere. But the map for Chicago simply did not make sense. Years later, the invention of GPS devices was another answer to prayer.
Tired of trying to find his way, Dad parked illegally. We were “only about” two miles from the pier.
“The walk will do us good,” he said.
The walk was fine and somewhat fun. We rode the famed Ferris Wheel and ate deep-dish pizza and took great pictures at the pier. And then Dad completely forgot where we parked. Our vehicle did not have the now-standard alarm-initiating key fob to help flash lights or offer audio assistance in location. It was almost midnight by the time we found our vehicle, which had accrued multiple tickets under the windshield wipers.
“At least there’s no boot on the wheel!”
The city limit sign for Terrell, Texas proclaimed a population of 15,816.
My kind of town.
I meandered through the downtown streets looking for a place to stop and flex my fingers and stretch my nerves. By sheer luck, I passed by the Iris Movie Theater, now home to the Books and Crannies bookstore. I pulled open the door and was greeted with the heavenly smell of binding and pages. I meandered through the aisles and perused the shelves, running my fingers over the spines of books new and old. I flipped through copies of new releases, simply observing the art of design, layout, and fonts. I picked up copies of books I’d read and re-read, comforted by the memories of friends made through imaginative narratives.
“Looking for anything particular?”
Her name was Rachel. This was her store. This was her life. She held an orange and white cat in her hands and smiled. She and her husband owned the entire building, from which several different businesses operated.
“Not really. I’m still trying to recover from that drive through Dallas,” I replied.
Rachel laughed and shared a few of her own horror stories on those highways.
“If they’d ever finish the construction, it’d help out a lot. But I think they’ve been doing construction for the last three decades.”
“Do you have any audio books? I’ve got a long journey ahead of me.”
“Where are you headed?”
“Next stop is Monroeville, Alabama. After that, we’ll see.”
Rachel helped me find six more audio books at a great price and donated a couple of her favorite used books for the road ahead.
“Safe pilgrimage. Good luck living a great story!”