A Warning to Northerners Vacationing in Southern States
Things are different down south. You have to be aware and alert.
A friend of mine recently moved from Wisconsin to Tennessee. She has been sharing lovely photos of her family, the beautiful mountains, and the new place they live.
A few days ago, she shared a photo of her daughter wading into a shallow watering hole that sent a wave of panic through me. I messaged her immediately.
I grew up as far north as you can get in Ohio right on Lake Erie. Every summer, my family would travel down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to visit my grandparents for a week. It was sweltering and swimming in my uncle’s pond was a daily activity.
My uncle warned us to always throw some rocks into a pond or swimming hole before jumping in and this is why.
When my cousin was in high school, on their senior skip day, he and a group of his friends went to the rock quarry where they always hung out in the summer and swam.
Spring fever was in the air and they were excited to be skipping school, ready to have a fun day swimming, drinking, and laying in the sun.
Cars started arriving and people started unloading their blankets, chairs, and coolers.
While everyone was setting up, one of the crazy guys took off running towards the edge of the quarry where they had been jumping for years yelling “cannonball!” and leaped out into the quarry landing into the water with a loud splash below.
Then they heard the screams. He came up long enough to scream “Don’t jump! Don’t jump!” and the quarry went silent.
When his body was pulled from the water he had snake bites all over his body. The quarry had become a breeding ground for venomous snakes that spring and he jumped right in the middle of it.
Due to the colder and freezing temperatures during half the year in the north, northerners typically don’t have to worry about venomous snakes so these dangers are not on their radar when they travel to warmer climates.
Before you travel to an area, look up that area’s venomous snakes, spiders, and bugs so you can keep yourself and your family safe.
And never just jump into a pond or water hole without first throwing some rocks into the water first, watching for movement under the surface.
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