8/1/09 – Birthday camping, day one
Mom, Jimmy and I arrived safely at Hat Creek at around noon. We unloaded and got set up and shortly thereafter, my two aunts arrived. We pretty much hung out at camp and chit chatted. I tried to take Roxie into the creek but other than her feet, she was havin none of it! Damn that creek is COLD! It is way colder than the North Fork of the American River was on 4th of July. I can’t even stand in this water for more than 30 seconds without my feet feeling like they are going to freeze off. The campground here is really nice with all the amenities except cell service. Figures.
At about 9:00 we saw a flash in the sky. We wondered if it was a camera going off and then heard the distant thunder. A few minutes later, another flash, then another and another. We were sitting in camp under the pine trees and could only see light in the eastern sky. We all moved our chairs so we could see the flashes. The thunder came and went. A while later, the camp hosts came around to tell us to be mentally prepared for an evacuation. I was a bit taken back because I had never had something like this happen before so we asked some questions. They basically said that if the lightning caused a fire nearby, the forestry service would evacuate us. If that happened, they would come through the campground honking their horns to let us know to get out. WOW… This could be serious! He said that in his four years of running the campground it’s never happened, but they wanted us to be thinking about it anyway. Crap, really? Ok so what do we do? I’m in an RV so all I need to do is disconnect, lower the awning and I’m OUT. Mom & Jimmy said they would pack up a few things and just leave their 5th wheel behind. Ok, so we got a plan. We sat out for a while longer and watched the storm move north east around us and thought we were in the clear…literally. Then at about 10:15, it started to sprinkle so we decided it was time to cover our stuff and head to bed.
I climbed into bed shortly after and watched the lighting light up my room. It was picking up again. I finally fell asleep but was awoken by LOUD thunder and then rain. It tapered off and I was able to go back to sleep for maybe 15-20 minutes. Then CRACK! The thunder sounded right near me and startled me out of bed. Then another CRACK! And more dumping rain. Holy shit this storm was right on top of us!!! I am in my RV alone across the road and 2 down from Mom and Jimmy so essentially, I had no one to comfort me. Roxie was sound asleep not paying any attention to the commotion outside (obviously this dog is not gun shy). I sat up in bed and listened as I could see flashes of light, distant thunder and REAL DAMN CLOSE thunder. I was at least comforted by the though that if it’s raining THAT hard, that any lighting contact with the ground would be drowned by rain so a forest fire was unlikely. I got up out of bed and went to the couch were I could see out the window all the flashes through the trees. Then I started to think “what if lightning struck a nearby tree and it fell on my RV???”
So as you can see, I’m a little freaked out. So I decided to write about it to try to calm my nerves. The WiFi in this storm is spotty so if I’m actually able to post this blog, I will be amazed. As I write this, the lighting has calmed as well as the thunder. It seems the storm has passed. Whew. Now, I can go back to sleep.
Tomorrow, I plan to locate the Pacific Trail which is apparently right next to us and go for a nice long walk. I might even visit some nifty lava caves that I hear are nearby. Sorry, there will be no photos until after I get home because my little camera is complicated and only likes it’s cradle to download and it’s at home.
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