The forecasters had mentioned earlier in the day that there was a slight chance of thunderstorm activity in our area late afternoon, early evening. Throughout the day, the weather was warm and humid, overcast skies with some patches of clearing. Typical spring day except for that humidity. I thought nothing of it. My plans were to get home from work, load Eagle into the trailer and drive to Rachel's house. Well, that's exactly what we did. However, that trip that should have taken no more than 20-30 minutes time, ended up being about an hour. And boy, what a ride it was!
We got about halfway to Rachel's, the little town of Gaston and the rain began...in earnest within seconds, and the skies were once again, that ominous shade of charcoal grey,then black. We could see the wall of water in the distance, and we were headed straight for it. By the time I turned onto the little country road, the rains had intensified to a torrential downpour, the winds were impressive and were coming at us from the north, literally making that downpour a wall of water pelting our truck and trailer. Within moments, the marble-sized hail began beating against us with enough force that I actually feared it could break the windshield. Scary stuff. For the next 30-40 minutes we were pummeled with rain, hail, wind, thunder and lightning. I could drive no faster than 20 mph and still had to strain to see the road. It was seriously, the closest I've ever been to being in a typhoon or hurricane, and my precious horse was all alone back inside the trailer. I sent up a prayer for protection and kept driving.
We'd made it within a few miles of Rachel's when a HUGE bolt of lightning struck a tree just off the side of the road right in front of us. It was intense!! When it struck the tree, it sounded like an explosion and I actually saw the lingering smoke coming up from the ground. I don't think I've ever been quite that close to a lightning touchdown either...certainly puts things into perspective in a hurry! I felt very small, and oh so fragile and helpless in the face of that ominous act of nature. That made me really nervous and all I wanted to do was stop that trailer, get out and go check on my horse. I hated to think of him back there alone and undoubtedly frightened! But my hubby said "hell no!", you're not going outside. Eagle is as safe as he can be in that trailer riding on rubber tires, just keep driving! So I did, but not before I asked God for another prayer for our protection, and if He could please send one of His angels to ride back there with my Eags...I felt an immediate sense of relief, and of peace. I knew everything was going to be alright. We had our angels watching over us. When we made it to the stable, the rains had calmed down, the winds had died down almost completely, but the thunder still boomed, with occasional lightning; but nothing like it had been. We were safely delivered through that storm.
I'm sure there are those of you reading this that have likely experienced this kind of thing many times, or are much more accustomed to this type of stuff happening than we are. But I'm telling you this - we don't have this sort of thing happen very often here in the mild-mannered pacific northwest, and once again I am reminded how very blessed we are to live in a quiet and gentle part of the country. Incredibly cool and exciting when watching from the comfort of our cozy homes or sheltering and warm barns, but a whole different experience when travelling through it with precious cargo in tow. I'd rather NOT do that again - thank you very much!!
Eagle was alright. He was a bit shaken, as we all were, but aside from being sweaty, very wet and trembling a bit in his hindquarters, he was good. Once out of the trailer, a couple of clearing snorts and a bit wide-eyed at his new surroundings, he quieted right down and walked calmly with me into his new and temporary home away from home. He's got a 12x12 matted stall and about a 14x24 foot run outside, a young Mustang and a black angus steer for neighbors. He was in awe of all the farm critters within his view too, all new stuff for him, some goats, an alpaca, a pot-bellied big, cats, dogs and who knows what else? I don't think he'll be bored while he's there. Or lonely. That's a good thing.
|So, this is Eagle in all his glory - just before loading|
|Slightly different angle - some could possibly say that's he's a wee bit on the "fluffy" side...|
It will be interesting to see him after he's a bit more "buff".
We're still planning on going camping and leaving tonight after work...unless this rainy weather continues. If that happens, we might just leave all the horses at home and go relax with friends. If there's any more storms like last night, we might build a fire in the wood stove, pop some popcorn and watch a good movie on tv. Whatever we do, it's a long holiday weekend, and I'm so ready for a little R&R.
Hope you are too,