At the podium with the White House seal hanging from the blue curtains behind him, the grim-faced press secretary took questions from the seated reporters:
I appreciate your question.
I -- I think your question is being asked related to some reports. Uh -- that are in reference to an ongoing criminal investigation. Um -- the criminal investation that you -- uh -- reference is something that continues at this point, and as I've previously stated, while that investigation is ongoing -- uh -- the White House is not going to comment on it.
The President directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation, and as part of cooperating fully with the investigation, uh -- we made a decision that we weren't going to comment on it while it is ongoing.
What's the year?
What's the investigation about?
Who's the President?
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When we got to Buffalo Point, there was no obvious place to check in -- no building at the entrance, nobody at the park hosts' trailer. But (of course) Trudy knew out tent site number, and when we found it, we saw our name hanging from the post numbered B24.
As we set up camp, the skies darkened in the south, and thunder rumbled ominously. Trudy looked at me, and I rolled my eyes in an it figures kind of way. So not knowing how much time we had, I got right to patching the rips in the tent from the Memorial Day tempest. And when that was done and our campsite fully deployed, we walked directly down to the river to go swimming.
The swimming area was just a stone's throw away from our site. As we approached the river, we were apprehensive about getting in. It was crystal clear and looked ice cold, but as we waded in, we were pleasantly surprised. It was like bath water.
We walked into the river without nary a wince, advancing slowly as it came up to our ankles then our knees then our waists then our chests then our necks until the warm, slow-moving water was over our heads.
I swam out into the middle and turned onto my back.
On one shore, a few other swimmers splashed in the shallows and sat on the gravel shoals. On the other shore, the trees were quickly dwarfed by the white bluffs that climbed high above us, crowned by a forest looking down on the bend in the river. The sky was blue, and the sun was shining down on us. (The thunderstorms had passed us by.) White clouds drifted overhead.
I took this all in. And then as I stared up out of the canyon, a heron flew by high in the sky going from somewhere far away to somewhere far away else.
And I smiled to myself.
Buffalo National River, NW Arkansas
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