So let's talk about crossing a stream. Not a river, but a tumbling little stream full of rocks and boulders.

I tend to rock hop across, a skill developing over decades of fly fishing in the Sierra. I can't dance a lick, but I can glide from one rock to the next quickly and seemingly without effort. My wife, on the other hand, struggles a bit with streams. She uses hiking poles, which help her balance, but she takes a slow, cautious, and even a bit fearful approach. This despite the fact that she dances with great elegance and style, and can never figure out why I am such a klutz on the dance floor.

So on our last trip into the wilds of Yosemite, I struck out across each stream and hopped across easily. My wife took much longer, slowly picking her way along. At least, until the last crossing of Bridalveil Creek, just a mile or two from the trailhead. In this case, she had really worried about this creek on the way over, and I was determined to find an easier way for her to cross.

So instead of carelessly hopping from rock to rock, I gently eased out onto a larger boulder, sat down on it, and then worked my way around to the other side, where I would reach a series of smaller stones and walk across. All went swimmingly (!) until it came time for me to push off the larger rock with my right foot. The bottom of that hiking boot had become wet in the process, and when I pushed off, it immediately slipped off the rock and threw me face first into the stream.

My wife hid her delight with expressions of concern, then walked twenty feet downstream where she carefully picked her way along a series of small flat rocks successfully. With bruises on both knees and wet feet to boot, I hiked the last two miles with a severely bruised ego.

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