Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 4, 2018 Grateful that nothing happened

at Dora Dufran's grave
I read this article yesterday and it made me think about our drive to Spearfish Canyon last Saturday. We had our grandson visiting us in South Dakota for 10 days and we were busy doing all sorts of touristy things. We had some rainy days and Friday afternoon was one of those days. It had been a beautiful morning and Jay and Austin went out for a ride in the RZR, Jay's day off had been switched from Thursday to Friday, which worked out well. Because of that change we postponed our scenic drive to Austin's last day with us. And it was a good thing. There was a crazy storm that blew in to the north of us Friday afternoon. All we got in Custer was heavy rain mixed with hail. We had dinner in town at the Burger and Bun and since it was raining so hard we just went home to watch the storm.

AJ and Val at Wild Bill's grave
What a storm it was up north. We headed out Saturday around 11:00 on State Highway 385 to Deadwood and the Mt. Moriah Cemetery. We had some rain along the way but by the time we got there it had let up and the sky was clearing. As we walked around the cemetery, seeing where Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Dora Dufran were buried I noticed a lot of branches and debris on the ground. I had noticed some on the streets, but didn't pay attention to any of the parked vehicles. After strolling around I stopped in to the gift shop and chatted with the friendly sales clerk. He asked if I had experienced any of the storm last night, and I replied, just some heavy rain with a little hail. He said he hopes his insurance company will total his truck because of all the hail damage. He then pulled out his smart phone and showed me a picture of three golf ball size hail stones he was holding in his hand. He said those were the small ones, there were others that were the size of his fist or larger.

Turns out this storm that blew in hit hard near Piedmont, SD and Sundance, WY. The news reports said the hail only lasted about 2 minutes around I-90 but with hail that size it wouldn't take long to do a lot of damage. As we drove down the hill from the cemetery we noticed that just about every vehicle parked on the street was covered with dents and had a broken windshield.We didn't spend any time in Deadwood and headed toward Spearfish to continue with our scenic drive. We needed a snack and the local McDonald's was closed, but right next door was a Taco Bell. Yes, I actually ate something there. I likely won't do that again, but I was trying not to be a picky eater. More on that later. The young man behind the counter was forthcoming with more information about the storm and that there were actually two tornadoes that touched down in the area, one near Sundance and the other near Savoy, which is a small community in the Spearfish Canyon.

Bridal Veil Falls
As we continued on our drive, we stopped at Bridal Veil Falls for a photo opportunity.

Roughlock Falls
tree down at Roughlock Falls

From there we went to Roughlock Falls. There are two parking areas, the lower one allows for a 1 mile walk along the nature area and I jokingly told the guys we were going to park there and walk up. There was near mutiny in the car. We drove on up to the upper parking area and once there I could see why the lower parking area was empty. The trail was closed near the falls and likely other places along the way. There were huge trees downed every where around. Lots of water over the falls because of all the recent rain. We spent a short time there and got back on our way only to see more damage from the storm. Huge trees snapped 20'-30' up, like toothpicks or ripped out of the ground entirely. It was quite the sight to see.

I'll digress here about picky eaters. Austin expressed his dislike for tomatoes
 and cooked onions, among other things he doesn't like to eat. We mentioned that he was being kind of a picky eater. The discussion went on to things I don't like to eat like bananas, peanut butter, hotdogs, white bread and so on. Even Jay has things he doesn't care to eat such as kimchi, sour cream and bell peppers. So we figured out that we are all picky eaters, everyone could be considered a picky eater and maybe we could be a little more kind to each other by saying we are selective about what we like to eat. We don't have allergies or sensitivities to foods and I have complete respect for people who do, or people who choose vegetarian or vegan or wheat free or whatever way they want to eat. How about if we all just give each other some respect to our food choices and understand that not everyone likes everything that we do? Let's be kind and have compassion when it comes to nourishing our bodies.

And now back to being grateful that nothing happened. We had another crazy storm last night. It was a beautiful sunny day and about 6:00 the sky began to darken. Around 9:00 the light show began, shortly after that the rain let loose. Toby had managed to sneak under the trailer and it wasn't until we were getting ready to go to bed I realized he was still outside. I got him in just in time, then the wind picked up and the storm began in earnest. We all huddled inside watching the sky flash, Jay and I wondering if this is what precedes a tornado? Are we going to get giant hail?  Then this morning, clear skies for a beautiful 4th of July. And I am grateful once again that nothing happened.

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