MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: MY “LAUGH & TIMES” FLASHED BEFORE MY EYES

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

MY “LAUGH & TIMES” FLASHED BEFORE MY EYES

There’s the neatest little waterfall over here Mushy (not his real name),” Judy said.

Look at those “Bluets” down on the side of that rock,” Ron added.

Earlier, Judy had been miffed at me for not coming across to the big rock she and Neena were exploring. I have a camera and anything I can’t see from there I blow up with the zoom, so I saw no need to jump the gap.

However, after their insistence, I hopped over onto the first of a series of boulders that formed the right side of the waterfall we had been admiring along the Middle Prong Trail near Cades Cove in the Smokies. Between two smaller rocks, was a tiny little waterfall with a lot of velocity that caused the stream of water leaking through to explode in a spray on a rock about 2 feet below.

I carefully made the “Bluet” shot and then made my way over to the mossy dark spot that can be seen the photo of Neena and Judy, just to Neena’s left. I noted and was careful of an area was a small depression, where water stood and feed the surrounding moss. I took the little fall shot and looped the strap on my camera around my right wrest for the trip back across to the boulder where Neena, Judy, and Ron stood watching.

Under her breath Judy said to the others, “I’d have to laugh if he fell in,” which elicited giggles from her sister!

As I crossed my left foot behind my planted right foot, my right foot shot forward about 3 inches causing me to arch backward and away from the top of the rock.

Now at this moment, I began trying to remember what the area directly below me looked like, and all I could picture in my mind was sharp rocks. I mentally prepared myself for the coming pain of smashing 8 feet below me into jagged rocks sticking up out of the rushing cold water below the fall.

As I hit the water, across the top part of my back first, I felt no immediate pain. I then noticed that I was being swept down stream through the natural flume created by the surrounding rocks. I started to panic at being swept far down stream and dashed against boulders along the way, but as I planted my feet on the bottom, and stopped my tumbling, I realized that I could steady myself and support myself against the large boulder on which my now screaming family stood.

As quickly has the second fear subsided, I began to think about hypothermia! I frantically began to look for a way up and out of the freezing water. There was no way I could get up to my left, nor could Ron reach my hand from above.

Finally, I moved to my right, almost stumbled over a larger rock hidden under the water, and made it to a small eddy where dead branches had collected. Luckily, there was a small tree about 2 inches in diameter that was still rooted to the bank that projected out over the debris. Using this aid, I made it up out of the water, but still could not make the huge step up to the top.

About that time Mike Hagney (send an email Mike if this isn’t correct) (Mike is at left with the great Van Morrison t-shirt) from Florida just happened by with his family. He and Ron grabbed an arm and I was finally firmly planted on higher ground. I stood there draining and suddenly remembering my camera!

No, it’s okay,” Ron told me as he handed it to me. It was actually still on and had suffered no harm as I apparently flung it off my wrist and onto the top of the rock from which I fell!

I did lose my cap and sunglasses, and everything in my pockets: my cellphone, wallet, keys, and camera case were drenched.

I removed my hiking boots, drained them, and rung out my socks, but the walk back was a little sloshy!

At the car, where the butterflies constantly buzzed by after feeding on a nearby “horse muffin”, I removed my wet shirt and zipped off the legs of my hiking pants. Ron gave me a dry pair of socks and a large towel to sit on.

We made a pit-stop at the Townsend Visitor’s Center, where I decided I would go “commando” the rest of the way! I was out there, Jerry!” (For you Seinfeld fans!)

I finally relaxed and talked over the event with my companions at Uno’s in Maryville, where we had Uno’s Amber Ale and a very good pizza!

It was not until after I looked closely at the attached photos that I realized just how seriously I could have been hurt or killed! There are rocks peeping up above the water just to the left of and directly under where I fell! However, I was only very sore in my left arm and leg, and moved very slowly that night and this morning. There were no bruises (found two since this was written), scraps, or contusions like I expected.

Each night, especially before such outing, I pray that the good Lord will watch over us. Some may say it’s just luck, but to me it was an answered prayer.

So, thank you Lord, and you too Ron and Mike! I also appreciate the concern shown by Neena and Judy.

25 comments:

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Damn brother, that was a close one. Take care of yourself. Great pictures, by the way. Damn. And I finally now see a good reason to wear those nerdy assed zipper leg pants. You're a lucky guy, once again.

Sarge Charlie said...

I am wondering if there are any photos of a commando Mushy, I saw a commando Paris Hilton.....

Lin said...

I knew it, I just KNEW it - ya damned near killed yourself for a cool blog photo. And still managed to jettison the camera before the big dive. Good on ya, dude, I am so proud of you! Ya know, we outta get a pool going on who is going to be first to do the fatal dive trying to get good shots for blogs.

Those green-covered rocks will do it every time, slicker than owl snot. See ... that's is something you don't have to worry about out here in the desert (just getting my desert digs in while I can). So darned glad you didn't get bunged up like maybe you should have - your angels were working over time as usual and you own 'em now, bud. And just be thankful that the dragons didn't get mad because you made them pee their pants from laughing. Blessed indeed.

Mushy said...

Thanks for the concern guys...now that I look back...it is quite scary!

Curiously enough, like the time I nose dived off the front of the house boat, there was no laughter until I was clear of the water and there was no "Deliverance" bone sticking out!

Nope, no commando shots, but things sure were chilly in the restaurant later!

Jerry said...

Mushy,
That's what I like about you. A man willing to take a risk for his art. But seriously, glad you're okay....and still have your sense of humor!

J said...

Oh my goodness Mr. Mushy!!!

You make sure now, to keep an eye on any place you got hurt. I would worry about any internal injuries. Thank God you are ok.

Shrinky said...

Oh Mushy, you had a pretty close call there by all account. So glad no bones were broken and you didn't drown. Dear me, but you are resilient, not sure I would have been up to tucking into a full blown meal after all that.

Mushy said...

Thanks Jerry and ladies for your concern, but everything is fine and I'll be back on the trail Thursday!

*Goddess* said...

Damn you were lucky, and I'll bet Judy forgoes the little jokes in the future, huh?;)

catscratch diva said...

I'm glad to hear your prayers were answered... the boys were there as part of that answer I'm sure.

Did you go out towards Cades Cove and over the bridge then to the left? We go out there all the time. There's a spot with a waterfall about a mile and a half out on the left. You have to have mad skillz to get to the top of that bad boy and even madder skillz to get back down!

I'm really glad you're ok!

BRUNO said...

Damned shame the camera-button didn't stick in the "video" position---would've made for one helluva good vid-post, indeed!

And it's almost as much "fun" on ice, too! Although I think we're BOTH safe from that for a few more months, eh...?

Suldog said...

Well, hell, you ended up getting pizza and ale. God makes all things work for good!

(Seriously, glad you're still around to have written this.)

Mushy said...

Thanks Bruno, and yes Sul, as Ron and I tapped glasses, as we normally do, I silently thanked God for his many blessings - none of which is much more important than the creation of beer!

pat houseworth said...

Ouch....my back hurts just thinking about that landing, and I'll tap a few glasses tonight in agreement with you on the beer.

david mcmahon said...

Whew - what a narrow shave. You deserve a special award for protecting your camera in such a quick-thinking way.

Next time, avoid the bigger, boulder (!!) approach.

You great big commando, you!!

Loki said...

Sounds like you had a close call. Glad you're ok.

Decided to go for an early spring swim, eh?

Hilary said...

I can see exactly why David chose this as his post of the day.. great tale and glad you're ok. Loved the Seinfeld reference too.

Katney said...

I stopped by from David's, too. And as we are headed out camping and hiking later today, I will take your tale into careful consideration any time I see green wet rocks or dark places. Though what we may yet have to take into consideration may be snow. Take care and listen to that inner voice that says--"you can zoom in on it."

Mushy said...

Thanks David for sending Hilary and Katney over...they look like good people!

Luke...see you on the trail!

Jennifer H said...

Wow, what a close call. Glad you weren't hurt any worse.

Congratulations on Post of the Day! David chose well.

Scott from Oregon said...

Ummmm... didn't the good lord give you a lick of sense?

Glad you weren't hurt beyond the ego...

And that your camera survived...

And that you got to eat pizza and drink beer commando....

Catmoves said...

Sometimes just knowing that you're going to survive only serves to heighten the excitement.
A big WTG Mushy. Glad you made it Back safely.

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

Oh NOooooo!!!! That was a close one Mushy! Now if ya'd only had me along for a life preserver.....

Mushy said...

Thanks everyone for the good thoughts and the visit.

phlegmfatale said...

Good googly moogly. I'm glad you weren't hurt!

But what a beautiful place that is!