Tag Archives: paddle boat

The day a ship almost ran over me–a HUGE ship

I was incredibly lucky growing up.  My mother loved to travel and took  me to Europe twice while I was in high school.   I believe this changed me, made me a more open person, realizing that Kansas City, Missouri–as much as I loved growing up there–was not the center of the universe.  I also had several very funny incidents there.  Here’s the first one.

When we got to Lucerne, we visited all the great spots, my favorite the 170-meter-long  covered bridge.    Then we went to our hotel which was not in Lucerne but on the lake with beautiful views of the lake and the mountains from our rooms.    We saw paddle boats on the lake and decided to get one.  Mom and I pedaled out and away from the shore, the wheel our pedals turned rotating strongly and quickly behind us.  We enjoyed the breeze and the view, laughing and having a great time–until we both looked up and saw a huge ship bearing down on us.  I have googled “ships on Lake Lucerne” and don’t find freighters listed but this is my story and, as I remember,  that ship was an enormous freighter.   And it headed directly toward us!

Aware that the ship didn’t slow or turn, Mom and I started pedalling backward.  When that didn’t move us fast enough, we turned the tiny boat around and pedalled until our legs were weak and barely made it to shore.  But we survived, didn’t even get wet.

Many years later, George and I headed from West Texas to Denver.  He wanted to take the “scenic” route which means bad roads and few filling stations, but it was scenic.  At noon, in the middle of a broad valley with no town or businesses in sight, we saw a rustic restaurant.   Once inside, I discovered a picture of the covered bridge in Lucerne on the wall.   The owner/cook came from Lucerne–I have no idea how he ended up in this barren part of Colorado–and told me the bridge had burned down but was rebuilt.  Then I told him about my adventure on the lake to which he said, “Lots of tourists get killed that way.”

I’m not sure he was kidding.