Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Red Harley Hat for A Man's Life

Beautiful Sand Hollow, St. George, Utah

Yesterday I went with my husband and two of our good friends to Sand Hollow Reservoir in St. George, Utah, to ride our waverunners. The day was beautiful, not too hot at about 95°. Yeah, I know, that sounds like approximately the temperature of the place the devil resides, but there was a nice breeze blowing, so we were able to enjoy the day.

When the day ended, my hubby and I took the waverunners over to the dock to trailer them. He backed the trailer into the water (I'll tow a trailer, in fact, I'll tow two trailers at once, and have, but I don't back them up) and I put the first waverunner on, no problem.

While he was strapping it to the trailer, I went to retrieve the second boat from where it was beached. After stumbling and falling over rocks that should have been easy enough to cross (grace is not my middle name) I got on it, and rode it out into the area where boats are launched.

Suddenly, I heard someone yelling for help. A man's voice. I looked across the bay, and saw someone in the water, waving for help. For just a second, I thought he was joking. His friends weren't too far from him, but far enough away they wouldn't get to him quickly. Like a bolt of lightening into my slow-processing brain, I realized he was genuinely in trouble.

So I broke the law. Yup, I didn't keep my boat wakeless in the dock area. In fact, I gave it full gas to race to him. Just before I came upon him he went under. His hand that had been waving went with him and I panicked, worried that I wouldn't be able to find him.

And then he popped back above the water. I grabbed his hand and said, "Grab on!" He did, nearly swamping the boat. But we stayed aloft, and I held onto him as he gasped for breath. He was a young man, only twenty-one I found out. He was terrified. So was I!

After he felt like he could breathe again, he worked his way around to the back of the waverunner. There, he had to rest again before he had the strength to climb on. I don't know how many of you have ever ridden a waverunner, and had someone climb up on the back. It's precarious at best. And this guy was a big, tough, Polynesian guy. I'm telling you, my guardian angel and his were both sitting on the front of the boat helping me balance it so he could easily board, and we were borrowing someone elses angel to help him manage the climb.

He told me he's been on a mission for two years, and this was his first time swimming since before he'd gone. Swimming in a lake. Without a life jacket. Such a guy, right?

I dropped him off at the beach where he assured me he was fine. His two buddies had finished their swim to the rocky outcropping he'd been heading for, then swam back. My heart was pounding and I was shaking with relief.

So why mention a red Harley hat?

I happened to be wearing mine at the time, my beautiful red and black Harley cap with a studded brim. I felt it fly off when I first took off towards him, but obviously I wasn't going to go back for it. After I dropped him off, I searched for it, hoping vainly that it would still be afloat. Yeah, I know, right in the middle of constantly churning water with boats going in and out, like it had a chance.
When I got the waverunner trailered, and told my husband what had happened (he was wondering why the heck I took off like that in the middle of the wakeless area), he assured me he'd go on the internet at try to find me a replacement hat. But you know what?
It doesn't matter.
It's a hat.

Put a hat on one side of a scale, and the weight of a mans life on the other, and see which one really counts. I've had many hats before, and I'll have many hats in the future (gotta have something to cover the helmet-hair when I ride the Harley). I would happily toss every hat I own, and every hat I'll ever own, into the lake in exchange for this one man being okay.

So today I'm grateful. For being in the right place at the right time and being able to hear his cries. And for understanding he wasn't joking with his friends. And for not having the waverunner roll over and sink this poor guy once again. And for slippery, jagged, hard to walk on rocks that were really flat and should have been easy to cross, which would have put me a few minutes earlier having the boat on the trailer and not being in a position to help him.

Whoever he is and wherever he is, I'm sorry he had to suffer for those few minutes and be scared (he told me how scared he was) but I'm grateful to him for teaching me the un-importance of a red Harley hat.

My cute hubby on one of the waverunners

Just a pic I took of this cool tree on the beach where we were. Isn't it awesome?


  1. We had a great time with you guys yesterday. Soooooo glad that you were there to save the life of one lucky and blessed guy.

  2. Thanks for telling us of your experience. We know of your abilities in life, but we again know of your willingness to DO things with your abilities.
    Many can,but not many do with what they are given.
    Glad you DO!

  3. wow thats so scary! So glad that you were there to help him and that you and him are both safe!!

  4. OMG, you better use this as a beginning for book. What a story! You rock, chica :)