Let me start out this post by saying an adventure to the lake never EVER goes as planned. This year’s adventure included smoke, dead bodies, slides from hell, and a side trip to a jet ski graveyard. It’s seriously like the making of a horror movie.
My friends and I have been going to Crooked Creek State Park for about four years now to go jet skiing. One of my good friends’ family owns some, and occasionally they let us take them out on the lake.
To take a jet ski out on the late, though, we need to do the following:
- Take the PA Boating Licence test, pass it, and be able to show proof of this (as a fun aside, in the state of Pennsylvania, if you pass your PA Boating test you can drive any non-commercial boat on any legal Pennsylvania waterway. By sitting for a half hour test, I’m allowed to drive juts about anything, just because the state feels I’m a mature and confident person on the waterways. The test, might I mention, is open note, not timed, and, let me be very clear, was not taken alone. And yet I can now drive boats. Huzzah!)
- Sign a legal waiver stating we will not sue the owner of these jet skis, or any of his family members, if any accidents or deaths are to occur while on this trip. This include the vehicle ride to and from the lake. We often advise new members to not sign the waiver until we get to the lake, just in case we die in a fireball of a car crash on the way there. You know, on those back roads we travel.
So you can already see what kind of trip this is shaping up to be. It’s a ton of fun, don’t get me wrong, but it never seems to go exactly as we expect.
We started the trip out with a fun story about dead bodies at the bottom of the lake. Urban legend apparently states that several years ago a man was boating on the lake and mysteriously disappeared. They found his boat, his car, and all of his supplies, but no man. He simply disappeared. Some people are convinced his dead body is floating at the bottom of the lake, weighed down by the rocks that took him to his watery grave. This was discussed at length on the car ride up there. What we would do if we found a head bobbing in the water. Would we scream and drive away? Or simply stare at it in a silent horror? I wish I could say that was the worst problem we encountered on the trip. But it wasn’t even close.
This time it was the jet skis. Last year, for example, we broke the pavilion tent covering in a sudden hurricane. The year before that we tipped one of the jet skis completely over, and could barely get it back to shore. This year, though, about 10 minutes after getting the one jet ski onto the water, it suddenly and inexplicably started to smoke from the engine. That’s right, in the middle of the lake it seemed as though one of the jet skis was having either mechanical or electrical problems. Those problems that cannot, and SHOULD NOT mix with water.
After towing the boat back to shore, we found out that the engine had over heated and melted some of the wires together against the metal frame, making the ski unusable. So we were down to one jet ski only 20 minutes into the trip. And it wasn’t going to get any better.
The second ski suddenly died in the middle of the lake. We repaired it, took it back out, and for a bit it ran smoothly. But just like that, it died again, and wouldn’t restart. We now had two unusable jet skis about a mile down from the boat dock. And let’s not forget, there’s a dead body lurking somewhere.
We managed to get the second ski started again, and towed both boats back without problems. We still had about 4 hours on the lake, with food, corn hole, tubing, and lots of laughter. Not to mention near perfect weather. It wasn’t a bad day in the slightest.
One of the funniest moments came after the jet skis were back on the dock, and we had changed into our mandatory sweats for the ride home. The park has a ridiculous park by the dock, what is surely some sort of playground code violation. It has this crazy slide built into the hill, and for years we’ve been saying we wanted to stop and ride down the slide. Just to see what happens. This year, we finally took the plunge.
It was a slight disappointment, but, like the rest of the day we made the most of it. And like the rest of the day we ended up laughing through most of it.
After stopping for some ice cream on the way home, our last stop of the night was a jet ski bone yard, to drop off the broken boats for repair. It where old jet skis go to die. Dozens upon dozens of them piled up, waiting for a part, or an owner, or a final dismemberment for pieces. Good thing they weren’t my jet skis, because I’m not sure I’d be OK leaving my own boats there. Such a sad final resting place.
(I’m happy to report the jet skis were repaired there, and are currently back on the water. I guess they did make it out of there alive. Not so sure every case ends that way, but I’m glad ours did)
Here’s why I love my.alphabet.weekends. You can plan them out all you want, but sometimes crazy things pop up and you have to roll with it. Like a smoking engine, dead bodies, and a ridiculously lame slide. I can plan these out all I want, but it doesn’t matter if I’m not willing to sometimes roll with the punches.
I’ll be back next week with a brand new adventure announcement, and some more fascinating reports from Initech. I’m sure that’s what you’re looking forward to the most.
Until then, happy Labor Day weekend, and enjoy the extra day off!