In my early years, we lived in the LA area. Our neighbor was an older lady who had lived there her entire adult life. Fifteen years after moving away, we went back to visit with her and see the old neighborhood. She enjoyed telling us about all the changes that had come including the smog. What caught my attention was that she recognized that the smog had encroached on the area, but she believed that it hadn’t come to her block. When she looked up, she could see blue skies still.
Today, as I was starting my hike in what was clearly a flash flood area, I felt like this little old lady. I drove a ways to get to the trail head and could see thunder clouds forming. I kept hoping that they were past the trail, but alas they weren’t. I was there and ready for a hike, so instead of taking the six mile infinity loop or the three mile circle, I chose to hike a mile and a half lollipop. I got to get some climbing and sand hiking in as I wanted, but at what cost?
As I was hiking up the hill, I could hear the thunder behind and to the left of me. Ahead and above, the skies looked clear. A definite break of the clouds filled my vision. The smell of coming rain and my sunscreen filled the air. A bit of wind picked up towards the top, and a thunder cloud slid out from behind the hill. I could no longer pretend that the thunder storm didn’t loom over me.
I picked up speed as I headed back to the car, and just as I closed the door, rain drops spotted the window. I was lucky, but I remembered that a few of my relatives had been struck by lightning before. This is not something I want to chance, yet there I was out hiking trying to convince myself that the storm wasn’t where I was.