It’s funny how when my web site was down over the weekend, I was cursing the downtime because I had all these posts that I wanted to make. Now that the server is up again, I can’t remember a damn thing that I wanted to write about. The impetus to post is such a fleeting moment. Sometimes, you cannot bottle it and let it out later.
I will tell you about my Sunday though. Checking the forecast before heading out, I decided to hike around Buntzen Lake. Seeing that thundershowers were scheduled for the late afternoon, I arrived at the lake about an hour earlier than usual to ensure I would finish before the rains came. I also stuffed a fleece jacket into my pack just in case. Why I didn’t go with the Goretex jacket still eludes me.
Anyways, the weather was awesome at the beginning of the hike. It was sunny and there was plenty of blue sky. Approximately a third of the way into the hike, the clouds came rolling in fast. When the trail stopped at a clearing where I could see more sky, I noticed what had been clear, blue sky had been replaced with all-encompassing grey clouds in literally less than ten minutes. The clouds were moving so fast, you had to turn your head to keep them in view.
As there was no rain yet, I kept on going. I’ve done the hike before in light rain and the forest cover is usually so dense, you hardly got wet. Then, it got more grey and I started to hear the thunder. Soon after, the skies opened up in force. The rain came down heavy and no tree cover was going to stop this. Heavy drops were breaking through and I had to put on my jacket.
In less than five minutes, my hair was drenched, my fleece was soaking, my shorts were dripping, and my hiking shoes were squishy. Passing other hikers on the trail, I considered myself lucky as people were out there in nothing more than a t-shirt and shorts. I briefly thought about turning back since I was less than half way around the lake. I didn’t want to cut short my exercise though and while I was wet, I wasn’t that uncomfortable.
I decided to press on, even while some of the smarter folks were stopping under more dense tree cover to wait for a break in the rain. When I rounded the north end of the lake about 20 minutes later, the rain did seem to abate somewhat. For the next hour or so, I walked in wet shoes and socks until I finished the hike about two hours after I started.
Upon arriving home, I can’t remember the last time I felt so good about taking off my shoes and socks. After having a small snack and showering, I looked outside and saw a most amazing sight. The thunderclouds that plagued me during the hike had disappeared and the sky was blue and the hot sun was again out. What the hell was up with that?
If you enjoyed this tale of survival and hardship, you’ll enjoy Garrett’s similar post. He too got caught in wild thunderstorm except was several kilometers east of me at the time.