This storm came up on us so fast that we ended up having to run from it. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we were visiting Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming). We were out hiking with the kids, and we took a wrong turn on the trail. So, instead of the shorter loop, we ended up on the longer one. And to make matters worse, we mistook the distinctive sound of distant thunder for the rumbling of geysers! We did see clouds moving in, but they didn’t look too threatening – until this one appeared. And it was moving FAST! We knew we’d be in trouble if we didn’t get moving. We were on a wide-flat plain, and we were carrying our tripods – which start to look a lot like lightening rods when you are surprised by weather like this. :)
So, as the rain started to fall, we told the kids to run for it. We headed for the shelter near the trail head. Jay ran ahead with the kids – and I stopped with my tripod to grab one quick shot before catching up with them. The kids were excited – and the younger ones were a little scared – but we arrived at the shelter just moments before the storm unleashed its fury. They watched wide-eyed as pea-sized hail fell in torrents all around us.
The storm didn’t last long, and we were never in great danger – but it was a fun adventure for the kids. At the end of the trip, they all agreed that it was the best part of the whole vacation. :)
That said – please stay safe when you are traveling. Beautiful weather can turn bad fast – and it’s important to be prepared. Check expected weather conditions before you go out, read your trail maps carefully, know where the nearest shelters are, and watch the skies. Bad weather can be incredibly dangerous.
So, what about you? Have you ever been caught in a storm like this?