Twice, this trip, thunder storms—that shouldn’t be any surprise in September as summer turns to fall.
In northern Idaho, we turned off the highway at a C-store for a Forest Service Camp which we didn’t find, but we found a cleared area where we could get off the road and settled in our van for the night. I woke shortly thereafter to a distant rumble and constant flashes of lightening, seemingly on all sides of us. I woke Skus, who isn’t bothered by lights which wake me as easily as a loud alarm and he doesn’t hear much without his hearing aids. We watched the sheets and daggers of lightening , considered that there had been almost no traffic on that gravel road, that we had driven in through 5 to 10 miles of thick forest, that the forest was tinder dry, and that the rain which was beginning to fall could conceivably make the only way out impassible. We scrambled back toward town. By the time we reached pavement, we had the wipers turned high, and when we reached the C-store parking lot we could hardly find the borders of the lot. We scrambled back into our bed and tried to sleep. In the morning, the cashier at the C-store told us she’d sat up watching the lightening and noticed the local fire trucks out patrolling the highway, so our concern for fire was apparently justified.
In southern Oregon last night, we slept—somewhat—in a motel. I had drunk too much caffeinated soda that afternoon and wasn’t sleeping well, so a distant rumble had me wide awake, although I didn’t see lightening through our closed curtains. An explosive crack woke Skus and had me sitting up. One of those siren-like car alarms brought me to the window; a man silenced the alarm on his SUV, which was parked next to our van; he and a buddy were apparently surveying the area, including the motel roof, finding nothing alarming, and returned to their room. Not a good night’s sleep.