Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hoping for Rain

April, 2011

I had two goals for this 2-night trip: I was hoping for rain (yes) and I wanted to try camping all week-end, through Sunday night. And then going straight to the office. A few reasons for this idea: campgrounds are quieter on Sunday afternoon and night - most people depart Sunday morning. And this would save on the number of miles I'd be driving over the weekend.

I tried a new location, too: at Patapsco, but the Hollofield area. Whoa! my site was tiny ....

My first thunderstorm
The reason I was hoping for rain is that I realized I've had great weather ever since I started camping. I'm starting to wonder if I even know what to do in the rain. This week-end the forecast called for rain up until I arrived at the campground. By then, the forecast called for 0% chance of rain. Oh well ... I'll try again another time.

But then early in the night, a thunderstorm came through. Actually three of them, in succession. Rain I was hoping for. Lighting and thunder - no! I really didn't know what to do safety-wise, but being at the highest elevation in the area, I decided to wait it out in my car. The lightning was incredibly brilliant. Being outdoors in a storm is quite different than being in your house .... I was a bit apprehensive to say the least. Ok - I was scared. But as long as I was in my car, I felt safe. It was a long evening, wondering if a tree or branch would come crashing down & just waiting out the storms.

Sunday sunrise over the PVSP ridge:

Sunday morning was absolutely delightful! Clear skies. All kinds of songbirds. A few birds were flitting through the woods at my campsite. Spring is coming. Temps were in the mid- to high 30s.

A work issue came up, so I had to take care of that before I did any hiking.

My home-away-from-home office:

Night time is not pitch-black here at PVSP. I think there's too much "civilization" to be totally dark. But I could see lots of stars, twinkly like sprinkled glitter amongst the tall trees. Nighttime noises: no critters or birds .... but CSX train, ambulances, muffled traffic & motorcycles, and airplanes.

Monday / straight to the office
That sounded like a good idea but was more difficult in practice. I had to set an alarm so that I woke in time to get to the office on time. There's just something wrong about an alarm while you're sleeping outdoors ... It was still dark. I found it a bit difficult to get moving in the cold dark. Making coffee and dismantling the tent and campsite is slower and much less fun.

Monday sunrise: