Tuesday, June 24, 2014

the woods both beautiful and scary

Summer should be planned spontaneous. Well isn't that the argument at times? Is it better to plan or not plan.  How you balance that decision is really personal choice. My wife and I traveled to both Central America and Europe with only reservations for the start and end of each trip. The middle part was filled in as we went. Making plans on the fly allows flexibility but sometimes can eat up your time searching for a clean place to rest your head.

Summer - warm, hot, wet, long days, thunder storms, sandy beaches,

It's a time to get out into nature and enjoy.  Nature is often spontaneous.

Sharing is good but not with the insects.



don't worry it's only art


I'm sharing another travel story.  Nature has been known to surprise me with adventure even when I don’t travel far.

Back during our daughter's teen years (an exciting/scary time for parents with or without natural storms) I became familiar with a YMCA camp in nearby Wisconsin.

She started as a camper and liked it enough that the next year she sign-up as a camp counselor (started in-training then progressively advanced to more important roles).

This became her summer plan for a few years. She enjoys kids and now she has become a teacher (and mom).



Dad fishing on a wooded lake


One of my trips to the camp became very memorable, nearly in a very bad way.

As a counselor she would have sessions at the camp lasting many weeks straight. When she had a free weekend she would be eager to come back. (these were pre-smartphone days)

So one summer Friday afternoon, I hurried up to the camp. Driving to the camp was enjoyable after getting off the interstate. The two lane country road was hilly, tree lined, and offered views of numerous small lakes. A road through many woods.

Ready to go when I arrived, we quickly were off on the ride home. However, we quickly discovered a nasty surprise from nature was about join us for the trip.

The wind is very noticeable in the woods. Watching large trees sway and snap their branches is a scary sight. The bigger trees sound like old men climbing creaking stairs.

As I pulled out from the dirt (now mud) road through the camp area woods onto the two lane country road, this summer thunder storm was about to peak. I pulled over on the shoulder for a short while. We were amazed and maybe shocked to see the debris being whipped across our path.

After what seemed the worst of it, I cautiously started down that scenic-turned-scary road.

Then we both saw something shocking.

A car was racing uncontrollably towards us.

I think my daughter screamed but if so I might not of heard it because my whole focus was on avoiding a head-on collision.

The approaching car swerved, went off the road, through a ditch, through a front yard and was quickly stopped by a large tree.

Our eyes were wider than ever, trying to take in what just happened. Mind and heart racing, I finally realized we were untouched.

I pulled over again and decided I needed to go back and check. I didn't carry a cellphone back then. When I approached the car I was surprised not to see any passengers. They all had taken off.

I went up to a nearby house and got the attention of homeowner. We pieced the puzzle together - mostly likely underage drinkers who survived the crash but probably didn't want to stick around for the police report. We left.


When we finally reached the interstate and a restaurant we learned that storm carried a tornado along too.  Enough near misses for me.

Nature can be both beautiful and scary in the woods.




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