Friday, August 10, 2012

A canoeing adventure we'll never forget...

My hubby and father-in-law met up early last Friday to take the canoe out for its maiden voyage.
A friend of my father-in-law's told him about this route on the San Marcos river that he and his
wife had taken on their kayaks.  He had it timed and mapped already and so Jody and his dad
decided to try his route for their first trip out on the canoe.

They had been talking about this canoe adventure of theirs for weeks--planning and preparing.
Both were really excited about it. It was cute...I could always tell when my hubby
was talking with his Dad on the phone because the conversation would be
solely about canoes and floating rivers in the Texas Hill Country.

Well, the day finally arrived for their adventure and Noah and I drove the
 two of them over to the planned drop off sight early that morning.
We arrived at 8am and it took the guys about 30 minutes
to get everything loaded and their gear on before they got on the water.

I had fun snapping some pictures of the two of them together....what I was hoping
would be a special father and son outdoor adventure.











Noah was a tad-bit frustrated that he wasn't going to be able to go with them,
but it helped that he was able to help them get
all their gear loaded.  I think he felt like he was involved in some way
by helping his Daddy and grandpa.

Neither Jody or I felt good about letting him go with them this first time.





Little man had fun digging and searching for rocks...


Some last minute adjustments to their life jackets and walkie-talkies...


And it was time to climb in and get on the water....this is when I really started to get 
a little nervous.  We all stood together and said a little family prayer
before they climbed in.  They were a little wobbly at first and I just knew they were
 going to roll the canoe right away.


But thankfully, they didn't and it looked as if they were going 
to start off pretty smoothly....

And so little man and I waved good-bye to them and crossed our fingers that they 
would make it safely to our rendezvous pick up point 4 hours later.



The two of us stayed behind a little while longer...little man was not ready to get out of the water.  
He was still busy searching for some new rocks.

And I was enjoying the peace and quiet of being near the water.  
It's truly relaxing to be out in the country near a river and listen to 
the peace and quiet of nature all around you.  





I was finally able to talk my sweet little fella into getting back into the suburban with me.  
We then drove into San Marcos....grabbed some breakfast and then had fun 
hanging out together in town until it was time to pick the guys up. 

 And this is where the canoe adventure story takes a turn for the worse....
the plan was for me to meet them around 1:00 at the rendezvous point.  
But at about 11:30, my hubby called and said I might want to come earlier---around 12:30.  
I told him no problem.... and then not too long after that,
I got a second call and it was him again but this time he was calling to 
tell me to start heading that way.  

He then said, "I'll tell you all about our nightmare experience when you get here."  
I responded with, "Uh-oh...that bad, huh?"  
And he said, "that bad and worse."  

I ended the call and thought to myself, "Oh, Geeze...this can't be good." 

When I pulled down the dusty, country road where they were waiting,
I could see them from a distance sitting way down at the end of the bridge.  
The canoe was resting across the road from them on the grass.  And this is the 
condition I found the two of them in....

Bruised and battered....

It was pretty evident to me that the San Marcos river had not been good to these boys...
they said in fact that it was brutal and they were lucky to be alive.

Pants and shirts were torn...
Socks were ruined...
Both had cuts and deep bruises down their arms and legs...
my father-in-law lost his new pistol and a hearing aid.
New walk-ie talkies were ruined.

At first I thought they were joking (you never know with these two)...
But they were dead serious and I could tell my 
father-in-law was really rattled by the experience.  

They went on to tell me about the whole gosh awful experience...
I am recording it here so we can have it in our annual blog book for this year. :-)

About 15 minutes after they took off on the water that morning, they hit
the first patch of rough water and the canoe rolled immediately.
My father-in-law literally almost drowned on that one. 
He swallowed a lot of water while he was trying to pull 
himself out from underneath the water and the canoe.  You see he had back and shoulder 
replacement surgeries just last year--and so he's still been a little under weather since those. 
I know this had to be physically tough for him.

Their second roll-over happened later on down the river and they explained on that one,
the canoe got stuck in a lot of debris and completely submerged
in the river.  And let me just say, our canoe is REALLY heavy. 
I can't imagine how heavy it must have been to try and pull it out of the water after being 
submerged and filled with water.

The hubby explained how it took them over 30 minutes of working, tugging,
and pulling as hard as they both could together to finally get it loose.  
He said at one point, they really thought they were going to have 
to leave the canoe and just try to start walking and swimming down the river to get help.

What a complete nightmare!

They were also really fortunate they didn't lose their cell phones, keys and wallets. 
 The only reason they didn't is my hubby had them sealed in a bag inside the cooler.  

Thank goodness they had the cooler and the oars tied to the canoe, or 
they would have lost those as well.
I think the part that was most upsetting for me though was when my hubby shared 
this with me...He said the first thought he had as he came up out of the water 
after they flipped the first time was of see, he had had second thoughts apparently
before they took off in the canoe about letting Noah ride with them.  
Noah wanted to jump in the canoe so bad, but we both decided it best that Daddy and Pop
try it out first.  That he could ride the canoe on another trip with Daddy.
And so after they flipped over in the canoe the first time,
Jody said he felt sick just imagining how potentially tragic it could have been 
if they had brought Noah along.  

My stomach sank as he was telling me this and I was nauseous just thinking about it....
oh my goodness, what a blessing that Noah was not on that canoe.  
No wonder Jody and I had a sick feeling about letting him tag along--
I think those promptings were coming from above
And what a blessing that neither my father-in-law or my hubby were seriously hurt. 
 I have no doubt that Heavenly Father was watching out for them.

I think it's safe to say that the Mask family will be staying clear of the
San Marcos river after this experience. ;-)

The hubby says he'll only be canoeing down the Guadalupe or Blanco river moving forward.

We were all pretty hungry and tired after this event, so we headed over to Centerpoint Station
in San Marcos and grabbed a burger.  The hubby and my father-in-law were pretty quiet
during lunch.  I think they were so relieved to be back on dry land and probably
still in a bit of shock over how bad the canoeing experience was. :-(   I felt so bad for them
because they had so been looking forward to this.

The mood lightened up a bit after we ate lunch.  In fact, we started laughing when we envisioned what 
drama would have occurred on the river that day if Jennifer Diane had been on that canoe...

I have to agree....there would most definitely have been ALL sorts of drama
 had I been riding in the canoe that day instead of my father-in-law. 
I can only imagine. :-)


  1. Yes, sadly, it was for them (and me as they retold the events). I'm just so grateful they weren't hurt. :-)

  2. Dad and I had so much fun that weekend with all of you! Our shopping day was really a treat! I am so thankful that Jody and Jesse were protected! After the fact, it was so funny to hear Jesse to tell what happened! Lv U!


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