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flagmanruss

Rendezvous Light & Power

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It's been a couple of crazy weeks...

My step-son got married... Yeah, the wanted me to be presentable so I need to shop for hard to find in my size clothes that I'll likely never wear (or fit in), again... It went smoothly. They say the band was very good. I could not talk to my sister sitting beside me so they must have been very good indeed!

We set up a small base of operations for our annual Rendezvous trip... just a single supply tent & minimal gear...

My Step-daughter's Masters graduation... (maybe I can wear those clothes again before they're outgrown!)

Back to Rendezvous... My MS was not happy so I did not attempt to overnight but day tripped since by luck this years camp was under an hour from our house. I managed all this plus Drs appts, lab tests...

The forecast was for "chance of thundershowers" this morning. Apparently there was a line of thunder showers, lightening, down pours during the night. I was told it was around 4AM. That's not really a big deal unless one is trapped in the outhouse during such an occurance!

The forecast for the afternoon was INCREASED likelyhood of thundershowers. I was just hanging with friends when we heard the first spatters of rain on the canvas. The sky to the West... was dark & foreboding. The stong gusts of winds brought the squall to us in about 5 minutes. We had worked quickly to secure the tent doors & loose equipemt we did not want soaked. (My job was to stay out of the way, so those light of foot could do so quickly!)

The rain picked up driving it horrozontally under the tents. There were a few cracks of lightning followed by a rolling thunder. My friends got me to leave my rollator under their dining fly & retire to their tent.

Their adult son was out in the rain for some task that now seems totally unimportant. His sister went out of the tent to urge him to come in.

FLASH, CRACK, BOOM landed simultaneously. Virtually everyone in the whole camp of 500 was shocked in their feet, legs, lower extremities. The aforementioned young man was among those "knocked on his *ss". The young lady had an instant headache & saw sparks coming from her metal necklace.

One gentleman could not move one arm for some time & had hearing issues. Everyone in camp checked on their neighbors & our medical group went camp to camp. Thankfully there were no injuries requiring medical treatment. The gentleman got the use of his arm back after a few minutes.

No one is quite sure where the lightning strike landed, though some reported the flash seemed to come from the "Water Buffalo"... a Stainless Trailer parked feet from where we'd been sitting.

In the light of day... the exact points of the lightning strike was found. There are 3 trees on the edge of a small pond that drains into the larger lake... Three trees on the edge of that pond were struck, the bark peeled from them... the roots had all the dirt blown off of the leaving trenches 12-18" wide & as deep in the earth. The fact is 3 years ago, I was camped in that very spot with Sheila & my beloved horse Nick.

There were guys setting up a tent... very close one of those trees. Both guys were flung violently backwards. The one who was driving a tent stake with a hammer had the hammer fly up & strike him in the head. We can not figure how they are alive... both seem to be fine, though bruised & a very shy of loud noises.

All this took place 200 feet from where I was sitting.

Sheila reported after I left for the night it did indeed pour again, putting out the fire in our friends camp... she had been invited to dinner. Sheila pitched in to keep the fire going & eventually Spaghetti & meatballs were produced & welcomed by the wet & weary campers. For future referance, it is very difficult to keep a fire going in a fire pit when it is filling with water.

In closing, let me say how very happy I am to be in a possition to write this to you... & that everyone else is too.

I don't think this was a "Close Call". I think this was a Fringe Hit. We are very lucky indeed that no one was killed or seriously injured.

I hope Sheila & company got a fire started and their dinner cooked before the rain resumed. A steady rain is falling now.

Russ

PS The lady in the camp where I was sheltered during the storm... placed first in the Women's Primitive archery & my Sheila placed second! (Flat wood bow & non-commercial arrows required)

---------- Post added at 04:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:04 PM ----------

In the light of day... the exact points of the lightning strike was found. There are 3 trees on the edge of a small pond that drains into the larger lake... Three trees on the edge of that pond were struck, the bark peeled from them... the roots had all the dirt blown off of the leaving trenches 12-18" wide & as deep in the earth. The fact is 3 years ago, I was camped very near that spot with Sheila & my beloved horse Nick. He would have been toast if lightning had struck his "high line" rope.

There were guys setting up a tent... very close one of those trees. Both guys were flung violently backwards. The one who was driving a tent stake with a hammer had the hammer fly up & strike him in the head. We can not figure how they are alive... both seem to be fine, though bruised & a very shy of loud noises.

All this took place 200 feet from where I was sitting.

Sheila reported after I left for the night it did indeed pour again, putting out the fire in our friends camp... she had been invited to dinner. Sheila pitched in to keep the fire going & eventually Spaghetti & meatballs were produced & welcomed by the wet & weary campers. For future referance, it is very difficult to keep a fire going in a fire pit when it is filling with water.

In closing, let me say how very happy I am to be in a possition to write this to you... & that everyone else is too.

Russ

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