Unplanned Dismount at Bigelow Hollow, CT ~ Part 1

The day before our Homeschool Sports Co-op, a friend invited us out to swim at Bigelow Hollow State Park, CT. I was invited once before, but had a calendar conflict, so this time I was going to make it come hell or high water. Well, perhaps I took that last statement a little too literally.

So the morning of our excursion arrived and we set about at a feverish pace to get packed up and loaded so we would get to the park on time. We were told that we could either

(A) hike to our destination, or

(B) drop a boat/canoe/kayak in at the boat launch and paddle over to the swimming spot.

With all the gear we needed to carry, we opted for the boat launch. On our way to our Homeschool Sports Co-op we had passed the sign to Bigelow Hollow and so we knew how to get to the park itself well enough. So with our gear, plus one “chosen” dog (Ronen)

January 2014 Digestall loaded in the truck and chores buttoned up, we shoved off. We arrived 10 minutes after our appointed time and pulled up to the boat launch at Bigelow Pond. We did not even have time to eat up to this point, I brought snacks that my daughter was snubbing her nose at so I shared some tough love and told her she’d have to deal with it and eat what I brought since I had no prior help to actually pack lunches AND now that we were at the park I didn’t have another option at the time. So we waited… and waited…. and waited some more. Finally I checked my email to be sure I was at the right spot. There were absolutely no cars where we were and no traffic either. I called my friend and I realized I did not have her cell phone number, only her home phone and I got the answering machine. I decided to send her an email and then since we were the only ones there we figured we had three choices:

  1. Sit there in the truck and continue to wait
    1. A most boring option and I was not inclined to actually go through with this option.
  2. Leave and go find food that would be suitable to a teenage daughter’s tastebuds,
    1. Definitely a viable option.
  3. Float our boat and paddle around the pond to find our friends who might not actually be visible from where we were sitting.
    1. Number 3 was time consuming and risky, especially since there were not even any vehicles in the parking lot where we were. I was not willing to waste that time to find out we were wrong.

We selected option 2 and drove back out to the main road and off again to find a restaurant the likes of Subway. Well, we did not find Subway, instead we found a cool restaurant called “Traveler Restaurant.”

TravelerRestaurantIt didn’t seem too cool from the road, but I pulled in, parked and left my daughter with Ronen (one of our dogs) in the truck with the A/C on while I went in to order some sandwiches. When I got in the restaurant, I quickly ordered and as I stood there waiting I was reading the signs on the walls. There were books everywhere.

Then I read a sign that said “3 free books with every order.” I was like, “wow, what??” I verified with the waitress, and she confirmed. So I set about to collect some books. I found several books, but decided I would pick one for myself and then one each for my hubby and daughter.

2015-06-27 10.46.22

(left to right) The Call of the Sea, by Jan de Hartog; The Complete Pony Book, by Toni Webber; The Everything Barbeque Cookbook, by Dale Irvin and Jennifer Jenkins.

Soon our sandwiches were ready so I gathered my 3 books and returned to the truck and to our dilemma of finding our friends at Bigelow Hollow State Park. So I drove back to the park and back to the boat launch where we were earlier. My friend called me on my cell, I had given her my number in my email. She said we had not gone down far enough and gave us instructions how to find the boat launch where they were. They were already down at the swimming rock. So we headed down and found a boat launch sign and parking lot FULL of people.

Bigelow Hollow Mashapaug Boat Launch

The 2nd Boat Launch at Bigelow Hollow State Park at Mashapaug Lake.

So many people that after we dropped the boat off in the water I ended up having to park a ways away. Good thing because Ronen had to poop. So he took care of that there where I was prepared to discard it in a nearby trash can. Otherwise we would have had to tote it back in our boat and that would have been nasty! Right, so FINALLY we are loaded with our gear now in the boat and while we do own an outboard motor for our little rig, we can not use it because our boat is not yet registered (hubby will do that soon, … very soon, right sweet heart 🙂 ).

We loaded up into the boat and began our water rowing trek out to the swimming rock. It took us forever to get out there it seemed. We rowed, and rowed, and rowed some more. We were fighting against the wind and against the wake of other motorized boats. It was really slow going. We did finally make it out to the swimming rock. My daughter wasted no time to find her friend and swim. Myself on the other hand, I was debating what to take out of the boat and what to leave, etc. I crawled up the bank and visited with the other Moms who were keeping watch over their children. I was starving after all that so I ate my sandwich and chilled. I decided I would go sit down on the big rock closer to the water. I found a nice spot with hardly any one there and Ronen and I sat to take in the beautiful view. Soon a lady came by to visit with Ronen and chat with me about dogs. I always have a lot to talk about when it comes to dogs, well, animals in general really. Then her family joined her. Turns out her husband and his family are all from Peru, which is cool because I also have a new sister-in-law that is from Peru. So we spoke about that now. I even could understand their Spanish. Most “Spanish” people in this area are Puerto Rican and I have a difficult time understanding them. I can understand them, just not as well.

The Peruvian family was jumping off the section of the rock I was sitting on and into the water. We were all looking to see where the submerged rocks were. There were quite a few and not all were that discernible. They were all over the place it seemed. It was at this time that I noticed that the day was getting later. I checked the time on my cell phone and decided I should go check in with the Moms to see what the plan was. It was getting close to 3PM and I had chores waiting for me at home. My daughter swam by and asked if she could take Ronen for one last swim, so I let her take him so I could be more free to go up the rock. As I sat there making my plans I realized that my leg was asleep. Not the first time this has ever happened to me, so I began to stand up so I could shake out my sleeping leg. Well to my shock and surprise my leg was a lot more asleep than I have ever experienced in my life and I collapsed onto my one leg as I lost my balance and did a three-point somersault flip down into the drink. Yep, I ROLLED right into the Lake. As soon as I hit the water, I scrambled and surfaced. I was shocked but surprisingly ok. I had a big smile and said, “I’m ok!!” lol

Other than being a little, ok, a lot embarrassed, I was seemingly ok. I walked out of the water and went up the hill/rock. Not everyone had seen what had happened but the few that did came over to check to see that I was truly ok. I began to notice my injuries. First my finger scrape, and then I noticed my leg was a bit hamburgered. I was still fairly pain free though. I was surprised. For the extent of my injuries I really did not feel the pain I felt I probably should be feeling. I wrote it off at that point to my adrenaline, although I did not feel jittery or shaky either. I was truly, fine.

Prior to falling down the rock I had sent a text to one of my brothers. When I got out of the water I did have power on my phone, my brand new “water proof” cell phone that my husband JUST got for me on my birthday a few days previous. My phone was buzzing and freaking out, telling me my SD card was not in, etc. So we wrapped up and floated back out to the boat launch. It seemed to take forever again. We rowed, rowed, our boat all the way back and even got marooned for a brief few minutes on an underwater rock formation. We were spent and tired but we continued on. When we got to shore I had to walk all that distance back to the truck, barefoot, because my sandals don’t do well with we feet. I then had to load the truck back up and drive home. When I climbed in the drivers seat it was bright and I suddenly realized that I no longer had my husband’s sunglasses that were sitting on the top of my head in a bun. When I tumbled into the water my hair came out of the bun and in the shock of the moment I did not even realize they were missing!! I looked at my cell phone as I placed it in my handbag and it was OFF, not working.

My new phone's damage from the pink granite and water! It did not pass the

My new phone’s damage from the pink granite and water! It did not pass the “water proof test”

I handed it to my daughter and she tried to turn it on but it would not respond. When we arrived home I treated my wounds and hubby sweetly unloaded our gear while I washed up. Hubby attempted to perform CPR on my phone. Sadly, my Sports model, “water proof” phone did NOT pass this test. I passed out early this night, which is very unusual for me!

Continued on Part 2


About Maritza

We are a small family of 3 and a bunch of critters.We love God, our Country and it's foundations. We made a BIG move from Texas to Massachusetts in May 2013.This blog captures our 'new' life, there is never a dull moment. There is a lot of charm and character in this place and I plan to unveil it all and bring it to you in the painting presentation of word pictures and more.
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