There are “natural bridges” all over now; according to what I am told. But there was only one natural log bridge across the Raquette River back then.
That didn’t make the Raquette un-fordable; it just meant that if you wished to ford the Raquette you were placing your life in the hands of the spirits.
There were three of us young bucks fishing that day. We had caught more trout than we could carry and had decided to end that activity. Wolf, who was much older, challenged the other two of us to race across the log that made the natural bridge. No honest Indian could turn him down. Wolf claimed that he would be the timer. How were we to argue? He was the oldest.
Wolf ran across the log and then ran the return. Wolf claimed his time as best. Of course it was the best. The other two of us had not run yet.
Then it was Preserved Fish’s turn. He ran as fast as Wolf but Wolf would not admit it.
It was my turn. I went far from the log to get a good running start. When I reached the log I knew that I would have beaten Wolf.
However I did not plan on hitting a lose patch of bark.
Over the edge of the log I went. Then over the edge of the falls.
I ended up in a big pool below the falls.
Wolf and his friend pulled me out. I got out of my deer skins and we wrung them out as best we could.
It was a cold trip home.