Monday, May 24, 2010

Good Night's Sleep in the Worst of Storms

Text messages between me and Kari.

Annie: "Scary lightning storm, hail too. Can I please stay with you in Gillette tonight? I had to leave my tent up at Pine Haven, too risky to take it down"

Kari: "Sure, I just cleaned the bedding for that bed too."

I was completely terrified at the bright flashes of lightning and the booms of thunder. I had fallen asleep in my tent again in the morning to be woken up by a afternoon thunderstorm with hail. I ran out of my tent, hopped in my car, and drove to the bait shop down the street to inquire about the weather for the day. I jabbered on for several minutes out of nervousness with the kind lady inside, about the storm and what I did for a living. She pointed outside the window next to us and said that she once saw a tornado right there a few years ago. That was enough for me, I left, said I was driving to Gillette and hoped I could stay with one of my friends there.

I can't even remember when I've seen rain pour down so hard, I had my windshield wipers on full blast, but still couldn't see out very well. At one point I had to pull over on the side of the highway and wait for the rain to drop down a little less severe. I finally made it to Gillette and went to Walmart first to get some brownies to bake. In the parking lot I broke down, trembling and crying still sitting in my car for a good 30 minutes as I tried to wipe the tears from my red puffy eyes. I bought some chicken too, since I had been craving it for days and ate it in the park. It tasted horrible, and made my car smell like Walmart chicken. I was really craving the tasty BBQ chicken that I had eaten several nights in the US Virgin Islands almost a year before, but I couldn't have it.

I drove to Kari's still shook up. I felt better after a long warm shower, then came up and we talked a bit about her move to Alaska coming up.

It was the best sleep in weeks, and when I went back to my little tent in Pine Have, I found it wrapped around a tree from the storm. At least is was still there! It popped back into shape and my stuff inside was very dry, I beamed with pride for how well my little tent kept everything dry in the worst of storms. My tent just needs a lightning rod now.

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