Lets hear it for they boys! Featured here in my inaugural youtube upload are Seth and Deaton, who can normally be found on Ben the Welder in breach of the strict ban on even a single droplet of lake water on the upholstery of the Welder’s watercraft. (Hey Ben, maybe you should rename your blog World of Wakecraft!) For years they’ve been honing their splashcraft for maximum effect- ever pushing the limits of shamwow technology.
This weekend, while chasing splash glory with a 12 hour drive to Knoxville for the final stop of the Wakeboarding Pro Tour, Ben and the soon-to-be high school freshmen met me just over the state line at the glorious Midnight Hole just inside the Smokey Mtn. National Park.
S & D had no problem adjusting their technique to both the several thousand foot elevation change and the more immediately threatening 20′ drop to the cold clear water below their feet. Usually when I take a group to a swimming hole they stand there nervously as I toss my old bones over the edge and then stand there shivering and cajoling them to follow. I didn’t have my shoes off before S & D were soaking wet and climbing up towards glory, as captured in pixels above.
Thats the teenage brain for you. Glory trumps self-preservation. And I’m not talking about showing off, although that’s a part of it. I mean the glory of youth, of taking something really scary and just shredding it to bits with a toothy grin. Seth was making the most of it because darn it we’d forced him to hike half an hour to get to the hole and he was getting his moneys worth. Deaton kept saying aloud, “this is so great. this is awesome!”
The score- actual adventure: 4 virtual entertainment: 0
Not to be outdone by the youts, I took the plunge headfirst with what I imagined to be the most graceful of dives. Luckily no cameras were operating so my fantasy remains intact. The Welder saw my dive and upgraded with a back flip. The man’s a ninja. He found this perfect little slip in the rock worn by the centuries to the perfect dismounting point. When I copied him he further raised us all by finding the highest point in the hole to leap from. That’s the one featured in the video. It was a little terrifying. Teenage-mind required.
This has always been and will always be the natural evolution of the swimming hole + testosterone equation. Unfortunately for some, the full equation is often swimming hole + testosterone + a pretty girl to be impressed + alchohol = traumatic injury, rescue helicopter. Every time I go to a swimming hole there’s a jackass pushing the limits of life and limb, and as I get older its almost unbearable to watch. It’s much more bearable, and way more fun, just to BE the jackass. These days I’m just a safety conscious jackass who’s given up on trying to impress his girl (she knows too much already) and puts off enjoying his cold beers until his butt is planted somewhere padded and dry.