March 3, 2019
Storm Zero Day
When we awoke this morning we spent a couple of hours taking a good long look at the weather forecast. It didn’t look good…
There was a massive storm front moving across the entire country – dumping snow across the midwest, and bringing rain and high winds to the south. We almost flipped a coin to see whether we would hike out or not, but decided to play it safe and hunker down in the end. The other hiker named “Critter” was there as well, and we shared the room with him too.
At first we felt extremely guilty for taking yet a third zero day out of the past 5 days. But as the hours passed by and the forecasts rolled in – it became more and more apparent that we’d made the right call. By late afternoon the severe weather alerts were coming across on my phone, as well as on the television.
Reports of massive tornadoes in Alabama came through, as well as tornado alerts for the county we were in (Wakulla County). Before dark, the high winds, rain, and lightning had begun. By 8 pm, the storm was full-on raging and knocked out power to our hotel for 2 hours.
I couldn’t have been happier to be indoors. I’ve spent more than my fair share of time caught hiking and camping in severe weather. In all but a couple of those instances, I would have avoided it all together if I could have.
Now that I’m very slowly approaching the 10,000 mile mark of my hiking career – I’ve paid my dues in bad weather. I’m a little bit older, and I’ve got a little more money than when I first began these hiking adventures. I don’t mind spending a little bit if it means not getting my ass smeared all across some forest, or all over the side of some mountain; or not sucking farts in my shelter while I wonder if a tree is going to fall on me, or if I’m going to get blown away. I have no problem dealing with those sorts of situations when I’m out there and have no other options. However, as far as knowingly and willingly putting myself into them (like I might have had to when I was pinching pennies and couldn’t afford to just wait out bad weather)… no thank you.
The upside to this storm is the cooler weather it will leave in its wake. Carefree hiking, without the worry of overheating ourselves or the Little Dog, is coming our way!