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That time my husband almost drowned on vacation.


The day after the wedding, we ate breakfast and packed up. We ended up having a spontaneous trip to Lake Shasta (about 30 miles south) so we could go swimming. When we got there, we couldn't find a way down without killing ourselves, so we ended up hiking down this mountain big hill.
When we finally made it to the water, we all slowly walked our way in to find that it was pretty stinkin' cold. The rocks on the edge were very sharp, and then if you tip toed just a foot in, it dropped off into frigid water. I've been camping at this lake in the past, but we were also at a campground that had "normal" places to swim.
There was a group of about 10 of us. Where we were was "right across" from where we originally started, and the "other side" was only about a lap around a track I'd say. Everyone was jumping in and decided to swim across to the other side. It looked far, and I was very hesitant. The first 6 people started across. We could see their little heads in the distance. Hello, even an 8 year old was with them. How hard could it be?
I still wasn't sold on the swim. Andrew was all for it and even said, "Come on Shay! Seriously? You were a lifeguard for Heavens sake!"

"Uh, yeah babe, in HIGH SCHOOL! I'm way out of shape now."

"Come on! It isn't that bad. Let's go!"

"FINE! But if I am sore tomorrow, I'm going to complain all day long."

So, off we went. Andrew got a good 10 yards or so in front of me. I was half way there when I was starting to get sore arms. I started to float on my back, and alternated my swimming strokes. I was staring at the sky and the boats in the distance. Then all the sudden, I didn't hear Andrew talking or swimming anymore.

I looked up, and saw that we was struggling to swim to the side of the shore, which was about 20 yards away. His face was filled with terror, and was struggling to stay afloat.

"Babe! Where are you going?"

He dips his head under and gasps for air.

"BABE!!!! ARE YOU OKAY!?!?!?"

In those 10 seconds, I felt time freeze.

He looked back at me with a white face, big eyes, and his mouth was wide open. He was struggling.

He screamed "NO!"

I started to swim towards him as fast as I could yelling his name.

Those 3 minutes were the longest 3 minutes of my life.

You could see him swimming as fast as he could, which, in reality, was not fast by any means.

As I got closer, you could see him going under and up, and then finally, by the grace of God, his toes finally touched the jagged rocks on the ledge.

"Babe!!! Are you okay!?!? ANDREW!"

He didn't answer me for about a minute because he was trying to catch his breath.

"Cramp. I had a cramp. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't move."

All I know is, I haven't ever felt so helpless and scared in all my days. There is no way I would have made it to him in time, and in that murky water. If he would have went under and stayed makes me nauseas just thinking about it.
Needless to say, Drew got out and walked back to the beach where we stayed. I swam back with my friend Lynsay as we watched the other group across the way resting to get back.

Moral of the story: Don't EVER go swimming when you are dehydrated and may have had a few brewskis the night before.

I still Thank God today for letting him find that rock to rest his toes on.

After my mild heart attack, we dried off and we all headed to lunch.


After lunch, we said our goodbyes and Danielle, Drew, and I started on what was supposed to be a 3 hour drive.

Do you see all these squiggly lines? These are turns my friends. This was without a doubt the longest drive on the planet of the earth. Noooo joke. However, it was one of the prettiest drives I have ever been on.

I'm happy to report nobody got sick. I just knew that Andrew would since he had never been on any road like this in all his life, but nope! The man did wonderful. I was very impressed. Danielle is a great driver too, so that probably helped a ton.


Do you see that town in the middle that says, "Hayfork?"

Let me just warn you. That is the scariest town I've ever been in. We stopped halfway to get some snacks at this little tiny "grocery store." When we pulled up, I immediately put my camera away and hid it under my seat. There were creepy dudes sitting outside. When we walked in, it looked like something from a horror film. There were these two old ladies sitting at this table, facing towards us. They were smoking, and giggling with a mouth full gums and tobacco. The store was old, and eerie. The lighting was yellow and I was just waiting on some zombies to step out and go to town on us. I'm glad to say we survived this stop haha, but I swear to you, DON'T EVER STOP HERE if you are in this area. It will make you pee yo pants.

The rest of the drive was beautiful. We stopped often to stretch our legs and stare at the beautiful scenery around us.


It got dark really fast. The 3 hour trip turned into a 7 hour drive. At one point, we were in the middle of nowhere, surrounded my darnkess. We were winding in and out of turns, and redwood trees were surrounding us. Our gas was dwindling down and there was not a gas station to be found.

To make a long story short, our service was non-existant on our phones. We didn't know where we were, or what turns to make. We were just praying to see a gas station.

Right about the time we started to really freak out, we found one right when our gas tank looked like this.


I don't think we had ever been so happy to see a gas station.


Redwoods tomorrow.


post circle 18 comments :

  1. Geez, what a story. I am so glad that he found that rock, I could not read fast enough to see how he made it. You are an amazing photographer!!

  2. What a story! Great photos! I love this area of California. I went to school near Redding and I loved going on road trips in and around the area you all went -- I think it is beautiful! Hope you are having fun!

  3. What a scary story! I'm so glad he made it out okay. And that town you stopped in sounds like something straight out of a horror movie scene!

  4. My heart was pounding as I read this post! So glad your man is ok!

    Beautiful pics!

  5. How scary!!! I can't even imagine how panicked you were. I am glad Andrew is OK! Despite the scare, it looks like a great time...your pics are gorgeous!

  6. Oh my, getting lost is so freakin' scary! But you did get some really pretty shots of the day. I love all these amazing photos :) what camera/lens did you use? I love that photo of the sunset! x

  7. HOW does this ONE trip have the CRAZIEST stories?! Oh my goodness! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time!!

  8. Beautiful pictures and looks like so much fun! I'm so glad your husband was okay. I can't believe that happened and I can't even imagine what you were thinking or feeling! Have a great week!

  9. ahh that almost drowning story is so scary! that makes me sick to think about. so glad you were with him & paying attention, you little ex-lifeguard!

  10. Poor hubby :( You had some beautiful pictures, but I bet you're glad to be home!!

  11. Oh gosh...I would have freaked out too! Glad he's okay :)

  12. omg! so glad your hubs is okay! I can relate..i've had that happen to me before swimming in the ocean..just losing my breath and panicking at the same time. SCARY STUFF. Thank God he found that rock!

    amazing amazing pics you took on this trip! so jealous.

    oh and loving the photo of you clacking your heels together mid-air. priceless!


  13. Beautiful photos sweet lady!! I can so see a few of those images framed! I'm glad Drew is ok! God is good!


  14. omg, how scary! so glad he is ok ... the scenery was absolutely gorgeous ... amazing pictures!

  15. What a story! Love the pics!

  16. SO SCARY! Glad he is okay! Looks gorgeous there! Love your pictures! xoxo

  17. I cannot even imagine how scared you must have been after seeing your hubbys face- sorry you had to go through that! And SO glad he is okay! Lucky he was so close to the side...!