Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stranded on an Island in a Thunderstorm (part 2)

Read "Part 1" here!

We wanted to leave at about 3:30 but didn't get everyone on board with the idea and packing up to go until about 4:30...when we saw really dark clouds start to roll in and heard thunder. Then came the heavy rain and lightening....

It wasn't just a heavy rain that we've seen before and knew would pass - we're talking a torrential downpour accompanied by lightening every 15-30 seconds, booming thunder that shook the ground, the darkest, most menacing-looking clouds we've ever seen, and no sign that it would start to pass any time soon. We all threw our towels over our heads and sat in a line on the long log bench we found, because, well...what else were we supposed to do?! Our only two choices were to shirk the traditional wisdom we've always heard and stay on the island surrounded by trees or get back in the boat to go home. We certainly were not going to go back into our little metal boat and risk the hour ride back (especially when it would have taken much longer than that on the lake which now looked like an ocean with very choppy waves) in a lightening storm - so we figured we'd at least be safer on land - despite the threat of one of the hundreds of trees around us being struck by lightening.

Even though we were all laughing at the ridiculous situation we now found ourselves in, we were started to get really scared! We were in the middle of the woods on a friggin' deserted island about an hour and a half from home during a really intense thunderstorm - of course we got scared! Every time we thought it was coming to an end, another, even worse round of rain, thunder, and lightening would pick up. As the minutes turned into a half hour, then an hour, we began to wonder if we would have to set up a makeshift camp and sleep there for the night!

All of a sudden, the winds began to blow so hard that we had to move all of our stuff behind one of the trees or we would have lost it all and the rain started to feel like little needles stabbing us. We started to laugh hysterically at the predicament we were in and also to convince ourselves that it was no big deal. We all huddled together in a circle because it started to get really cold - we were all shivering with goosebumps, we were soaking wet! We all had our towels up on our heads, which weighed a ton and were dripping. We were like a little group of witches all standing together like that in the woods in the middle of nowhere.

We finally decided to take advantage of a lull in the action and just go - even though some distant thunder could still be heard. We had to bail out the boat and then maneuver back down the (now slippery) tree trunk in our wet flip flops. We got going and our ride was very reminiscent of the lifeboat rides in "Titanic." We all had our life jackets on with our soaking wet, 10-pound towels wrapped around us, shivering (we were freezing by this point), with serious faces, no one talking or looking at each other. The hour and a half it took to get home felt like it took 8 and we had never been so happy to see a dock in our whole lives!

Once back home, it took us all a long time to get warm - we were freezing right down to our bones! Plus, with only one very low-flow shower and a small hot-water tank, conditions weren't great for the 5 of us to warm up quickly. However, seeing as how we doubted that we would ever actually be home again, we were definitely just happy to be out of the rain and off that stinkin' lake!