I know, I know. I just wrote a post about how my kids couldn’t get me anymore. That said, this story must be a full blown back of the head slap direct from the hand of Karma.
This past Monday found me at the helm of my dad’s boat soaking in the view of forested shorelines ablaze with bright yellows, fiery reds, robust oranges.
It was our annual trek, a tradition now actually. We broke from the normal pattern of summer trips, and are wildly excited we did.
Anyway, There I sat throttle to the stops on near glass like water enjoying the view of the trees.Only a fast look around for other boats interrupted my awe inspired gaze.
Since we were on a river/ reservoir I had little concern about direction. After all, there’s only two shore lines right? Stay between them and life is grand, if you don’t life’s a wreck!
After a while, the big outboard went silent and we fished our way along a beautiful shoreline. Hours whistled by as we enjoyed ourselves, until the dark gray sky that had been the backdrop all day began to move and swirl just a tiny bit.
That was our cue, we had at least a half hour run back to the launch, and some big water lay in wait before we could reach it. The gear was strapped down, for the just in case and I settled back in at the helm.
Around three minutes into our race with the weather, I turned into a bend at full speed, no longer awestruck by the vibrant autumn paint on the trees, but rather searching for a familiar land mark.
A split second of fear gripped my entire body as I realized I had not been paying attention to landmarks on the way up river. Before I could slow the unwinding spring in my head, I finished my top speed turn and immediately powered down to idle.
Right there in front of me sat a very familiar sight. A battered row boat with one lone occupant anchored just to my eleven o’clock. (Just left of the bow)
I had seen him before, where…when… Holy crap! I just passed him before the bend in the river. Wait, what?!
I sat there for a second as those thoughts shot through my head. Dad turned to see why I stopped, and for some reason only two tiny syllables fell out of my mouth, “Uh Oh.”
His reaction was instant, and one I recognized very clearly. Eyes shot to every component of the craft I drove, then to me. I felt the need to explain so I simply said, “Dad, I think we’re lost.”
That was the very first time I said those words… ever. And the look on his face told me he had not been paying much attention when we fished our way into that corner either. While it only took a couple seconds with the map to realize what happened, the effect of the moment was stunning to both of us.
I had landed us on the back side of an island, one which the old man in the rickety rowboat bobbed in front of. And so with a semi confident decision made, I headed off in the only logical direction. My dad however was the constant question… “Does this look familiar to you?”
My answer was a simple “No.”
The next mile was an uncertain one to say the least, until like some ugly pimple on the face of an angel, bright white buoys jumped out of their beautiful surroundings. They signaled a no wake zone that I remembered.
“All is good dad, I know where we are,” I spoke with complete confidence again.
I did notice however, dad just never seemed to relax until the tiny inlet of our launch was within sight.
As for our race with the weather, we made it back to camp and just started to cover the boat when the liquid sunshine began to fall from the clouds.
As the great Paul Harvey used to say, “Now you know… The rest of the story.”