BY DARREN HANDSCHUH
Can someone please explain this to me: it can be sunny and hot for days, even weeks at a stretch, but the moment we plan a camping trip a typhoon sweeps through the land.
As the day of our woodland excursion nears, rain clouds begin to form and as the minutes pass the clouds grow darker and more ominous.
As we drive to the campground, we watch the clouds form over the area we are headed to. It might be sunny everywhere else, just not where we are going.
The instant we pull into the site, the heavens open up and rains of biblical proportions fall on our heads as we frantically set up camp.
Sometimes the rain stays, sometimes it goes and sometimes it does both.
It got so bad that we started keeping track of how many camping trips it rained. The running total over several years is 18 out of 24 trips were wet ones.
So what do you do when you are camping in the rain? At first we hid under an awning or a tarp and complained about the precipitation, but after so many soggy sorties into the wild, we just started to do whatever we wanted.
We would go for walks in the rain, ride bikes in the rain, roast marshmallows – yes, you guessed it, in the rain.
The weather situation is also proof that God has a sense of humour.
One particular camping trip was a family reunion of sorts as about a dozen of the clan were getting together to pretend we are roughing it.
My father-in-law brought his massive fifth wheel complete with TV, stereo, games room and in-ground pool, so that is hardly roughing it.
Anyway, we were to sleep among the woodland creatures for five days with everyone arriving on the first or second day.
Being camping keaners, and not too bright, we arrived early on Day 1, under cloudy skies or course.
By the time we set up our tent-trailer, the rain had started to fall and fall and fall and fall and...
It poured all night and we woke up to a very muddy campsite. It was also so cold that you could see your breath. The fact that it was the first week of August made the conditions even more deplorable.
The second day showed no signs of the water works easing up, so I caste my eyes to heaven and said a simple prayer that it would stop raining.
And it did stop raining, for about 10 minutes. Then it started to hail so intensely it looked like winter.
I glanced at my wife and said, “Well, at least it isn't raining.”
The hail stopped in a few minutes and within hours the clouds had cleared and the next three days were sunny and perfect.
Thanks Big Guy.
We were actually thinking of renting ourselves out to someplace that is having a drought. We could set up our trailer, the rain would come and in a few days they would be asking us to leave because of fears of flooding.
If I'm going to be all wet, I might was make some cold cash doing it.
Our last few outings have been blessed with great weather, but our most recent outing was planned during a hot spell that had people freaking out about the drought that was consuming the land.
As we started to get the trailer ready for the first trip of the year, the temperature dropped, the clouds started rolling in and forecasters were calling for lots and lots of liquid sunshine.
But the Big Guy threw us a curve ball this time. The first day out was near perfect, sunny with a few clouds. Of course the next morning it rained so hard fish were swimming up the road, but that wonderful first day made it all worth while.