Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 8- Tornado!

Everyday, it seems, is hard for an entirely new reason.  Today I had a short hike, 4.1km (giving me a rest for tomorrows 11+ km hike) but for the last km I was rushed at a very difficult pace by the sounds of thunder and impending rainfall.

Luck was with me though and I made it just in time to set up my tent, the tarp on top, and get everything inside just as the rain started to fall.  I felt like a superhero- saving the day in the nick of time.  I was lucky... or so I thought.

On of the things I've learned from my time in the wild is that mother nature is a powerful teacher.  You can learn a lot from it (where to set up camp by looking at the foliage for instance), but the second you think you know it all, that you "beat" her, she punishes you.  In this case while I was bragging on video about 'winning' the race against the elements my tent began to flood.  Bad.

The location I had chosen to set up my ten, while offering a stunning view, also offered no cover from the rain- I was totally exposed.  Now had this been a short, light, rainfall I would have been fine, but this was a five and a half hour monstrosity (I actually saw lightning knock over a tree!) and my tent sprung several leaks- from the top and the bottom.  The flooding was so bad, both outside and inside, that I had to move the tent while it was still raining.  It was, to put it mildly, not fun.

Now I had done some pre-planning so everything important- clothes, food, first aid gear, maps, matches, etc.- were in waterproof containers or dry sacks, but the rain did get into my tent, the main pack itself even my sleeping bad (not bad though as I put it away as soon as I realized the tent was starting to flood).

It was clear what I had to do- recant and offer an apology to mother nature. Sure enough, as soon as I did the rain stopped and she sent some sun to help dry things off. 

Most of my stuff is ok now, though some of it is still a little damp.  I'm a little worried as I remember from past camping experiences that the only way I got through sleeping with a wet sack (hehe) was knowing I would be home the next day, but here I have three more weeks.  Yikes.

There's always good news though.  First, my site is stunning- one of the nicest I've been to yet.  It has a great view, interesting terrain, and its own little swimming poop.  It's a shame I didn't get to take advantage of it today.  Also, another monster storm started coming but then past me by.  I saw lighting striking things as it went by.  I guess mother nature realized I learned my lesson.  I have- she wins every time.

Time for bed.
It wasn't until I spoke to my parents that I found out that I had actually been caught in a tornado!  What a rush!

A shot of the storm as it was leaving.  As beautiful as it was scary.


  1. Awesome Ben. Loving the blog. Look forward to hearing it first hand in a couple of weeks.

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  3. Wasn't it better to be out in the open and risk the rain then under trees that were being hit by lightening? Also, I hope you enjoyed your swimming poop! (had to remove previous post because of my own typo)

  4. This is really compelling reading, and this may be one of my favorite blog posts ever. Thanks for making is seem so contemporaneous. Awesome.