So three days ago Carolyn, Ian and I woke up at about 7:30 in the morning to a torrential downpour. It becomes apparent that the tent that we are camping in is not as water resistant as it is suppose to be. Lightning is blasting, rain is dropping and the thunder is ROARING.
I for one am digging it, other than the dripping that is coming down on us that is, but Ian is not going for it. He says that he REALLY thinks that we should leave so reluctantly I oblige with the encouragement from my wife. Probably something about the rain inside our tent that is driving her.
So we pack most of our stuff and are blessed with a break in the heavy rain so that we can get stuff in the Suburban. The problem is that Carolyn didn't wait for the break and is now completely soaked.
We head into town to our new favorite coffee and ice cream joint Perk's/Whit's in Athens, OH. Carolyn is able to change into dry clothes and we hang out at Whit's for most of the day. Our friends Smiles and Space (and their boys) are somewhere to the northwest of us at a craft fair selling soap and stuff.
We are watching the weather reports, of course, and see that there is a major storm brewing northeast of us. Right around the area where Smiles and Space are. Weather alerts start popping up indicating more lightning and thunder and.........Tornado's. I call Space and let them know because they are in some field somewhere and I am not sure as to their ability to know about the storm. They tell me they are in a downpour as we are speaking. Well the tornado decided not to visit them and they are fine.
The next thing we know is that the storm is coming our way and we realize that our bed and some of our other things are in the tent back at the property and a much bigger storm is coming than this morning. We decide to head back and get all essentials and repack our Suburban to travel/camp ready. On our way out the emergency alarms and notices are blaring that everyone needs to take cover and get inside. So we high tail it back to the camp.
All this time I am watching the storm come in, trying to predict the direction to see if it will hit us or miss and time it. We time it right and get loaded and prepared just in time to get in the Sub to leave and watch the sky go dark. In the time that it took me to drive from our camp site to the end of the driveway (about 200 yards) it went from slightly overcast to dark, no sun out better start prayin'! ... gloomy overcast. In all my years ( I realize 41 is not real old) I have never seen the sky close that fast.
I see the wall, yes wall, of rain coming at us as I am about to get on the road and I remember that I forgot to make sure that the roof box is closed. As quickly as my short little legs can scurry I run around to check the box so that it doesn't get blown open and soak all of our stuff that is up there and get back into the sub just a little too late. I am soaked, and I mean like I jumped into a pond soaked. I couldn't have been out there more than 10 seconds and I wasn't dry anywhere except on the inside. We drive back into town because if there is a problem I want to be near help.
We hang out at the coffee shop with the wonderful people (and a basement) there and some nervous college students and enjoy the evening unscathed. Though as we are sitting we can see that the local internet is indicating that where we are sitting there is a tornado that has landed. It missed us but did come down about 3 miles away. It flipped a few mobile homes and destroyed the local highschool bleachers along with some other buildings and many houses. Unfortunately there were also injuries and at least one death. We understand that it is a rarity to have tornadoes in this part of the country, or at least in this part of Ohio. Sorry no pics this time. We were a bit busy to pull the camera out.