Tarzan Yells and Jellyfish Hats

Keegan (left) and Nathan (right) about to hurl themselves into the river below

These adventures happened many years ago and I’m just now getting around to writing them down. The morning after the Midnight Miracle at Miracle Beach Provincial Campgrounds, I packed up the tent, organized the inside of the Toyota Previa Minivan of Wonder, cast a sideways glance at the tent next door, and headed up the road to gather the kids. I had about a week to get them home to Alberta and no idea which way we’d go.

Before packing up their bags and gear, we had some time so they could show me what they had been up to. First on the list was to show me how well they could skimboard — before leaving on this trip, the boys made four skimboards with their Grandpa.

The kids were total pros.

Relocating my jellyfish speed bump

They encouraged me to give it a go, and as an active parent and someone who is clearly very athletic and excellent at everything, I tried it. I quickly discovered I am not excellent at skimboarding. All is not lost, though, because not only do I now know what a jellyfish tastes like, I also know what they look like as a hat.

They then led me to the Pacific Playgrounds Campsite next door to show me the Tarzan Swing that reached far out over the Oyster River. The boys scaled the tree and Tarzan-yelled out over the river one by one before letting go and landing in the water with a splash. I could still taste the jellyfish, so I opted to watch the boys this time and not try my hand at the rope swing. If only we could harness the energy of youth.

Further up the Oyster River are the potholes.

The last thing we did before heading off on our epic journey home was to do some cliff jumping into the river. I had never been to this place before, so the boy’s grandparents led the way. The rest of the morning was cliff jumping and swimming, followed by more cliff jumping and swimming with a side of exploring and berry picking.

Cliff jumping at the Oyster River Potholes

It’s weird what you can get used to because, at first, it’s very unnerving watching your children hurl themselves off a cliff into a narrow river below. You get used to it, yes, but you do wonder exactly how you’ll explain things to the authorities. “Yes, officer. I did encourage them to leap from this cliff into the river below.” I would further clarify that I was an expert parent, “Well, I went first to make sure it was safe.

Mr. Dargie, is it?” the officer asks, writing in his notebook, “Is that a jellyfish on your head?

I can explain…

Fortunately, there were no horrible incidents, and we enjoyed the rest of the morning doing what we do best: adventuring and squeezing every bit of life and fun out of every second. Eventually, we had to be on our way, so we picked our way through the forest and back to our mighty steed, the Toyota Previa Minivan of Destiny.

There were hugs and “thank yous” and “goodbyes” and “see you on the other sides” as I loaded four soaking wet, happy, and tired boys into the van. We all waved at their grandparents as we drove off down the highway to our next adventure.

Where would the road take us?

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Michael Dean Dargie

Michael Dean Dargie

I do cool and weird shit with cool and weird people. Dad, biker, writer, speaker, artist, adventurer, doer of things, teacher of stuff. MichaelDargie.com