I now know what a pinball feels like, while its bouncing from bumper to bumper without any control. That’s because I was a human pinball as I rode the inner tube down Wilsons Creek while bouncing off the rocks and boulders being propelled from chute to chute and rapid to plunge pool.
Renita and I had left Star Valley, driven to Salt Lake City, and flown to Charlotte, North Carolina for our daughter’s wedding. It was a destination wedding at a resort, located between Morgenton and Lenoir.
The soon to be married couple had chosen the location as it had all the requisites. These included waterfalls, trees, and it was an in between place where all the families and friends could meet.
It was the day before the wedding and a group of seventeen daredevil individuals carried each one’s tube down the tree shrouded path to the water’s edge. Pushing off required all to dodge some low rocks and to learn not to allow ones behind to stick through the bottom of the tube. This was because the rocks and bottom were a way of getting hung up and it hurt when you hit a rock!
Quickly the group became separated as the myriad channels moved at different speeds. Compounding this, was the frequent stops as everyone bounced off rocks and learned, I already said this, to not let one’s bottom stick through the bottom of the tube as you got hung up.
Even though many of the floaters were good swimmers, it also became quickly apparent that one could not control the tube. Trying to change direction with one’s arms and legs by paddling and kicking had almost no effect. So when the minister, Mona, became stuck in the middle of a rapids almost everyone sped by all out of control and unable to help.
Luckily the bride, knowing that the minister was an important component of the wedding, was able to get near her and talk her through the white water and large boulders, (Jen had earlier told us she would allow nothing to stop her wedding).
Meanwhile I heard the water roaring and realized I was near a waterfall/chute that I really didn’t want to go down. Attempting to stop, the current sped up and, like everyone else, I had no choice but to go along for the ride!
Surviving the ordeal, it was really fun after all , I was able to stop and take images of others as they screamed, shouted, and laughed, as the water took them for their own bobsled ride.
The rest of the way to the resort was more of the same. I was never in control and like the proverbial pinball bounced from rock to rock as they acted like bumpers and flippers spinning me down the stream.
Finally, I reached the old broken dam surviving one more rapids and catching up with the rest of the group in a large slow pool. A rope hung from the far side and a large group of thrill seekers headed over to it but I decided that I was too tired and paddled to the beach.
Everyone had fun and some of the group rode the rapids the day of the wedding. However, I was in the wedding party and so I watched with envy as I dressed in my finest and waited for pictures. Clear skies