Sunday, August 14, 2011

(Day 62) Part II... A River Runs Through It...

By 8PM we had the fire going, the blog was done, the beer cold and the rum... well... was rum and we were having a great time!  Talking about the day, all that we had seen, what our favourite parts were: being above the clouds, the Model T on the Parkway, watching the clouds roll up the mountain and spill over onto the road... and then it started to rain...

In traditional scottish optimism we stood under a tree and had another drink thinking... "This too will pass..."  Forty minutes later Al suggested that we go and wait it out in our tents for a while.  Good advice. It started to pour!  Twenty minutes later I said to Al, "I'm just gonna go to sleep."  And I did.  Soundly.

Al says he got up at 11PM to water the trees and all was well.  I woke for some reason at 11:30PM and felt water under my tent and at my feet.  We were flooded.  The little creek that looked so harmless had swollen its banks and our tents were islands.

I scrambled to get up and out of the tent.  It was still pouring!  I yelled for Al and started pulling up tent pegs and then I realized there was still a live extension cord going into my tent... I went to the post and pulled the cord out and resumed trying to pull stuff to higher ground.  I was standing in 8 - 10 inches of water.  Still no Al.

I yelled again.

This time he responded.  And as did our ancient ancestors, William Wallace and Robert Bruce we worked together to overcome the water as they had worked to overcome the English... but first we had to sit and think about the situation.

We headed over to the administration building and found cover under the smoker's lean-to.  On the way we saw a nice white GMC Yukon nose first in the creek... and we thought we were having a bad night.  We sat under the shelter and did all we could do... watch the rain come down, laugh, and wonder what we were going to do next!?

I was all for rushing here and there and doing this and that and Al, ever the strategic Wallace encouraged me to wait... and we did.  Eventually it eased off a bit and we went over to our site and started salvaging our gear.

First we went and got the bikes and brought them over and put them under the shelter.  And then we sat and waited a little bit.  While we were sitting one of the campground employees came around and asked if we were ok... Yeah, no thanks to you!  One would think that when staff knew the creek was rising that they would have went and warned campers who may have been at risk?!?!  Anyways...  we asked about the Yukon in the creek... he explained that some guy came in looking for his girlfriend, didn't check-in and them promptly drove into the creek because he couldn't see the road.

We asked about shelter for the night and he told us we could go to the building where the wedding had been held earlier - but - we would have to out by 9AM so they could have church... hmmm... church is more important then the well-being of a couple of folk who had almost been drowned and/or electrocuted in their tents...  don't think so...   Matter of fact, I don't think many people made it to Church there this morning...

Except for the odd drip through a missed nail hole in the tin roof we were safe and somewhat dry... but there wasn't any chance that we were sleeping here.  By this time we had lugged all our gear back.  I had taken down my tent while trying to rise Al so all I had to do was stuff my gear in sacks and haul it over.  Al in his calm Wallace attitude simply left everything in his tent and co-opted the Bruce into assisting him in carrying the tent with all his stuff inside of of it to the shelter... this sound reasoning behaviour explains why there was a movie made about William Wallace (Braveheart) and not Robert the Bruce!!


Eventually we had all our gear under the shelter... much to the chagrin of the ducks!  I think they were enjoying the company in their stream... quacking away as we splashed around and lugged stuff to the shelter.  All I could do was laugh!

Our sleeping bags were soaked.  The tents were useless... what to do... we took a walk over to the building the campground employee had mentioned and we stood there and watched the rain come down... it didn't look anymore hopeful from there!  Back to the smoker's lean-to Al had a cigar and I did what any good Scots will do when stressed... boil water!  Al had coffee and I had a hot chocolate and as we sipped our drinks we watched the salvage truck pull the Yukon out of the creek!

When the show was over we still had to decide what we were going to do.  We started packing stuff away thinking that by doing something a decision would come clear... Al said, "Gee, I wish we had asked one of those folks about a nearby motel..."  And I replied, "We can google that..."  With that I pulled out the computer and had a couple of choices for us that were less then 10 miles away.  We suited up and I was off...

Halfway down the drive-way there was no Al behind me.  I pulled a u-turn and found him still at the shelter with his bike buried to the axel in gravel.  He thought he flat tire and was relieved to find out he was "only" stuck.  It took two of us pushing for all we worth to get it out of the hole it was in.

At the end of Hwy 340 near the I-64 on-ramp there was a mom and pop motel as I had remembered there was... the Budget Host Hessian House... and they had a room!  A ground floor walk up for $40.  She could have asked a $100 for it and we would paid!

We unloaded the essentials from the bikes, spread stuff around the room to dry, had showers and then we sat and laughed as I finished my last beer and the two of us finished off the bottle of rum... and between fits of laughter we shared in a profound theological discussion about the nature of human community and the mystery that is the Divine that moves among us and within us reminding us of our goodness and connection to all other living things...

At 2AM we turned out the light... I remember my last act as I fell asleep was to laugh, as I remembered the duck swimming by Al's tent as I tried to wake him the first time...

...on the Sabbath Road...   Day 63 will follow... as did we follow the rain...

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