Friday, July 29, 2011

Hair-Drenching Memories Made at Mineral

Anyone that knows we Flanagans, knows we love all things outdoors.  Our sons & daughter have inherited this bent, and most weeks you can find one or all of us connecting to some sort of outdoor adventure.  It's one of the primary reasons we returned to WA State.  And, as of yesterday, Terry and I set an all-time record for adventure quotients!

Known as the "Gem of the Northwest", Mineral Lake is about as beautiful a place as can be found.  It is also known for incredible trout fishing, so it's become a favorite destination of Terry and the boys.  Here's what their Homepage has to say about the place:

Hidden away in a little known and seldom explored corner of the Cascade Mountain Range is the historic hamlet of Mineral, Washington. Here the wildlife is bountiful and the landscape breathtaking.  

I can certainly testify to the truth of that!

Yesterday, being a particularly beautiful, lazy day, Terry asked me to join him for a quick trip to collect Trout at Mineral.  As much as I treasure the outdoors here, I'm not terribly fond of row-boating beyond an hour. Knowing it could well be a three hour event, I hemmed and hawed a bit before agreeing to go along.

As expected, the views from the lake were captivating.  I sat in mesmerized awe as Terry paddled us to his favorite spot and then dropped anchor; two actually - one at the bow, and one at the stern.  Within seconds he had his first hit and pulled up a beautiful, but too small fish.  His (or her) life was spared.  Then began the long, unfruitful dangling of line in a seemingly troutless void. 

Growing bored & weary, Terry decided to move the boat to a better position.  While I trained my eye on a soaring Osprey, he cautiously pulled up the front anchor, then made his way to pull up the back anchor, which was not far from where I was sitting.  He stepped around me, and just as he gripped the anchor line, in a flash, the back end of the boat pitched, tipped and dipped itself into the water, dumping Terry and me into lake.  There had been no time to assess & correct; only time to acknowledge the power of pitch, and of gravity!  Quickly the boat began to take on more-and-more water as we coughed & sputtered.

The first words from my mouth?  I don't think you'll catch any fish this way either.

To say we were stunned is to put it in much too simple terms.  We looked at each other with incredulity before swimming back to the now-sinking boat.  As Terry grabbed the flotation devices, I scrambled to salvage what I could from my purse (which normally I wouldn't bring along, but wanted somewhere to tuck my phone & camera).  Even in this troubled condition, I didn't want to lose my wallet and have to replace it's contents.  Ever so practical ...

Soon we heard young children from the shore hollering to see if we needed help.  "Paleeeeeeze" came my immediate response.  They took off running, and soon showed up with their mother.  She and one of the teen boys jumped into the lake and swam out to us.  Thank God for her level head, because she instructed me to make my way to her dock while she instructed Terry in the art of flipping a boat so it wouldn't actually sink.  This they did while I labored to make my way ... fully clothed & shoe'd, clutching my purse, kicking for all I'm worth and using but one arm to steer.  

Eventually a boat with four older people - Fishermen from Norway, they said (you just gotta love those Norwegians and their humor, huh Sonja & Debbie?) - show up in their motorized raft to help tow the awkward boat to the dock.  With teamwork and level heads, the boat was finally set upright once again.  Our rescuing angel managed to salvage one oar.  Lost at sea was Terry's favorite fishing pole & hat, some tackle, and my cell phone and camera.  And somewhere was floating one missing oar.

Once we determined that we were all safe and able-though wet-bodied, we bid our rescuers farewell, got into the boat and began making our way back to the boathouse; then onto home.  We were delighted to see our Norwegian friends grab the missing, floating oar and deliver it to us.  It sure made the return much easier.

On the ride home we laughed a little, but mostly we traveled in quiet - wet, cold, relieved.  I confessed I'd been scared.  Terry too.  We talked about how different the outcome might have been were we farther out onto the lake, or at it's unpopulated far end.   We calculated the numerable known Providences, like his having accidentally left his cell phone at home, or our positioning to that quick-thinking, strong swimming young mother, or to having tossed the two flotation devices into the boat at the last minute.  

We heard from our children last evening.  Certainly they expressed their care & concern, but mostly had a tremendously raucous laugh over the entire matter.   We joined them.  The only thing this family seems to love more than adventure is humor; and there's plenty of it to go around!

As I ponder our adventure this morning, I am mindful that the story is only half-told.  There are life-lessons here ... but THOSE for another day.

Today I'm off to replace my cell phone, and will request the new number:  1-800-ribitt


Diana Ferguson said...

Glad everyone can now look back with amusement and humor!

I second the outdoors except right now in our great state of Texas------it's too hot!!!

RCUBEs said...

Glad to know you're both okay...I'm sorry but I'm also laughing over here as I was reading your post. I'm glad you can find humor out of this mishap. God surely put the right people there with you that day to be able to rescue you.

Love your new no. LOL...Take care Sassy.

Sonja said...

Well if that doesn't just take the cake! I'm telling you... it reminds me of US... and hooray for the Norwegians!

Yes, God has so many ways of providing for our needs, it always makes me wonder about all the times He has provided and I never even knew it, and I'm sure there have been bucket loads of those.

What a day! A little chagrined, a little scared, and probably most of all... another great story to add to the archives, which will no doubt bring laughter for a long time to come. It's always easier to laugh when the whole adventure is safely resolved. :)


Beth E. said...

I think you and Terry should purchase monogrammed life vests! Shew, this story still gives me the chills...and I wasn't even in the water! ;-)

So thankful to God for keeping you safe.

Love you...

T.O. Geezer said...

Wow!! What a story! I'm glad you were rescued and are here to tell the story.

I'm looking forward to reading some of the life-lessons you have to share from your experience :-)

God bless and stay safe :-)


Maryann said...

How things can change at a moments notice. Glad you are both OK, have to ask...the purse, camera and cell phone, did they make it?

manthano said...

Praise God for his protecting hand.
I see you still need prayer, like the
rest of us.

Debbie said...

Oh my, this adventure seems to be more than you bargained for! But I'm so glad you and Terry are OK after all of these happenings. However, I have to admit that I got a chuckle out of your comment about those Norwegians. They always seem to keep their heads. And they do love adventure.

Be safe because I want to see you again soon.

Love you,

Karina said...

Oh wow Kathleen! So glad to know you are okay. I love it that you and Terry are out fishing together on a lake in the first place, seizing life's beauty. Thankful that the unexpected adventure it became turned out well in the end.

I continue to enjoy popping in here now and then, you share such wisdom! Love to you,

Peggy said...

What an adventure you had. It's good that we can laugh at ourselves when things like this happen. What a beautiful place. My husband loves to trout fish. We'll have to put that on our bucket list of places to visit.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Oh MY!!!! Our God is an adventurous God and He is there with us in every adventure.

Oh I could see this from beginning to end, and also feel the scary part and the part where you finally laughed.

I think one thing I miss about being younger is that you don't think about all the possibilities that could have just laugh...your mother reminds you what you were saved from.

I am so glad you both are glad God's provision was there for your safety...His divine hand in the whole matter. So glad your family has a great story to tragedy.

Now I will think about this anytime someone ask me to get in a fishing boat. You really are in some beautiful country.

Rebecca said...

My goodness! Your A.Q. (adventure quotient) must have jumped to record heights!

Sorry about the loss of camera and cell phone, but congrats on saving your billfold :)

So glad you are safe.

Karen Lange said...

Oh my, what an adventure! Who says God's hand isn't on you all the time, right? Glad all is well and you are now dry!
Hugs and blessings,
Karen :)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I don't see the hilarity yet! Just the saving grace of it all. I'm so glad you both are all right. Like you, I'd probably have been more concerned about my purse than anything else. I suppose it will be awhile before you head back out to fish?


Catherine said...

Thank the Dear Lord that you and your husband are safe. You and your family are very blessed to find the humor in such situations. It is a blessing to be close with your family and laugh together.
I am your newest follower and hope that you will visit my blog too. Thank you, Catherine xo

Just a little something from Judy said...

I finished reading this post and I am sitting here thanking God for His gentle, loving care and protection of you two. Once again, your skillful writing had me hanging on every word, and in the end I hate to admit it, but because I picture what I read, I was indulging in a quiet, rolling laughter. So happy you are just fine.

beBOLDjen said...

WOW. That is quite an adventure. It is very amusing you saved the purse. *giggle* I, too am thankful for God's protection over you and Terry

myletterstoemily said...

my men love trout fishing, too! i'm glad you
had such a fun adventure and protection!