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Trauma on the Labor Day kayaking trip!

Monday, September 03, 2012

I invited everyone I know to come kayaking with me today. And then I announced a 10 am launch time. Strangely enough, only my parents were available that early in the morning...everyone else had other plans (mostly sleeping in!)

So we launched at 10, and made it about a mile. Then, we got to a juncture where there were downed trees and branches. I yelled back to my parents to beach themselves so we could walk around the logjams...since this was only their second time ever in kayaks.

My dad got over and out okay, but mom....she got caught in the current and slammed into one of the trees. I was already on my way to her when she tipped over...and then my dad and I saw the kayak hit her in the head and flip over on top of her.

I can tell you right now, my heart stopped for a couple of seconds. I jumped out and lifted the kayak off her within just a few seconds of her tipping over, and she was perfectly safe and still conscious. She did have a bruised nose, and lost her glasses, but she wasn't seriously hurt or anything.

THANK GOD!! I was sooo upset, and within about two minutes my parents were laughing it off and joking about our "exciting" adventure for the day! While I was still trying to get my pulse and breathing under control, I might add!

Which was when we discovered that, in addition to the glasses, she had lost her paddle. The said it was the universe telling her that she was WAY overdue for an eye exam and a new pair, but it's a bit hard to kayak...okay, how often do you get to say it?! She was up the creek without a paddle!

And this was where I started laughing at the whole thing.

I tied her kayak to mine and started paddling. For those who have tried this, IT IS NOT EASY!! I had a lot of trouble steering. Mom's kayak would get caught in a current and jerk me sideways...and while it's not a dangerous waterway by any means, there are a few "rapids" going over the rocks. Trying to navigate with her kayak tied to me was NOT fun. At one point, her kayak did a full 180 and she was going backward into the rapids, dragging me around too...

At a certain point, though, you either laugh or cry. My dad and mom were LAUGHING as I got us turned back around and out of the rapids. And it wasn't more than half a mile or so before I saw a canoe paddle on the side of the creek. I started shouting "PADDLE!" over and over again, and when the current tried to spin me around I started shouting "F*** IT!!" and paddling backwards. The only danger in that instance: mom was laughing so hard she almost fell out of the kayak, and dad was laughing so hard he almost hit a rock.

So it was an...interesting adventure today. I'm still a little traumatized from watching my mom tip over. She was a swimmer, diver, and lifeguard for years. But that doesn't help much if you get hit in the head! She's fine, she and dad laughed during the trip, and after the trip, and called a couple of close friends to tell them all about it. And, amazingly enough, they weren't trying to make me feel better...they made plans with the kayak rental place for two weeks from now (weather cooperating, of course!)

I learned to love the outdoors from them, and we canoed and camped and hiked all the time growing up. I never once thought about how hard it would be to watch loved ones get hurt...and it happened to my brother and I several times over the years. We tipped the canoes, we fell on the trails and rolled down hills and into the creeks when we tripped, once we were rough-housing and brought the tent down on top of ourselves! And I never once thought about how terrifying that must have been for my parents.

But they reminded me that these things happen sometimes. It's a choice we all have to make, knowing that we might get bruised and scraped but that we'd miss out on a lot by NOT going.

Phew! Glad to be home and safe! And as soon as my mom's bruise fades and she has new glasses, I'll probably be laughing about this and telling all of my friends and coworkers, too!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What an exciting and adventurous day! I'm glad everything turned out OK. You built some great memories that day that you will share and laugh over for years.
    2023 days ago
    I'm so glad she was okay!
    2025 days ago
    Glad everything was okay! Sounds like it was (mostly) super fun!
    2025 days ago
    Glad everyone is okay! We had similar adventures this weekend: we went camping with my dad, and his ATV rolled over husband said that once he looked back and just saw wheels spinning in the air and was terrified because he thought my dad was trapped under it and being held under water. He WAS wet, but not trapped, so we are breathing a big sigh of relief with you!
    2025 days ago
    Wow what an adventure! I am so glad your mom is okay, and that she is laughing about the whole adventure. I got stuck on a rock in the middle of the river on my first whitewater raft trip (the guy who was steering was very inexperienced) and it was a difficult rescue. But the rest of the trip was great.
    2025 days ago
  • PEACE_
    Oh, my, what a wild day you had! You got to ride in a tethered kayak AND an emotional roller coaster!

    So wonderful that you and your parents got to spend time together doing something that seems very much in line with your shared family interests. Sounds like everyone had a good time (except for a moment or so!).

    2025 days ago
    Thanks so much! I drove my mom to school today, since she doesn't have her glasses, and she was still laughing about the entire adventure. No pain or soreness, just a little bruise on the bridge of her nose...and she covered it with foundation so you can't even see it! I'm taking her over tomorrow at 9 for her eye exam, it was the earliest appointment she could get. So she'll be 100% (but with a little bruise) tomorrow.

    This was our second kayaking outing...the first was Father's Day. I've been several times since, but my parents didn't want to join emoticon

    2025 days ago
    Living a full enjoyable life involves taking some risks. It sounds like your parents have a great perspective on life.
    2025 days ago
    Well, that WAS an adventure! This blog had me laughing, and I hope it isn't long before you can truly laugh at the whole thing. "up a creek without a paddle"... LOVE IT!

    On a side note, I also love that your parents are getting out and about with you and getting some fresh air and exercise! Your influence will extend their life span... if they live through it!
    2025 days ago
    I'm glad your mum is ok but I had to laugh at the "up a creek without a paddle" comment!

    2026 days ago
    What an adventure!
    2026 days ago
    Wow. That would've made me very nervous too! Glad to read she is ok!

    Glad that you are home safe! Hopefully their next time out is fun!
    2026 days ago
  • LINDA7668
    I'm happy that your mom wasn't hurt seriously. It sounds like it was a blast except for your mom's accident. I'm sure that you will all be laughing about it soon.
    2026 days ago
    emoticon So glad your mom was not seriously hurt but a very humorous story!
    2026 days ago
    My Goodness, what an adventure. I am glad you mother will be okay and that your parents had a sense of humor about the whole thing. This is a great story to tell and it is nice to hear a happy ending. I would like to think I would be like your mom - I love doing crazy things I probably shouldn't be doing and that I don't know how to do - I have a great time and even the MISadventures are fun.
    2026 days ago
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