Dear listeners, I have a tale for you!! It was one of the best/worst thing to happen to me delivered by our sweet Mother Nature. I had been planning a camping trip for 1 whole year with a high school buddy (who only knows me only as a metalhead, shhhhhh......). He had never been to the mid-west, in any place like South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, or Idaho. I had, but for work-related travel, which was a soul sucking endeavor and left me devoid of any potentially wonderful life altering experiences. Our plan went from imagining to planning, and would take us to The Badlands, Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, Devil's Tower, Bighorn National Forest, Yellowstone Park, and beyond. It was going to be fantastic. I bulked up some snivel camping gear and I was ready. Imagine that: me, a sissy novice camper, eating barbaric foods over a fire and having a flexible agenda while listening to nature at night in a tiny tent. What could go wrong?
We didn't bother to plan more than a day in advance, just in case we liked something so much we decided to explore it more. How exciting!! The first day after flying into Rapid City, SD was the Badlands. We hiked all over it, went places where we probably should not have (including into a buffalo field about a mile's walk from our car, how very wise) and spent about 12 hours there. It was blissful! That night, we set up camp at a very basic campsite. I was awoken in the morning at about 2:30 to hear some distant thunder and some very light sprinkling that lasted about 30 minutes. Perfect. In the morning, the sweet breezes dried everything flawlessly. This is how it is all going to be. Or so I thought.
After another few days, we were succeeding, and confident. Nothing could defeat us! On the 3rd night, we set up camp at a popular chain camping place with great amenities and were nice and comfortable. We didn't even bother to see if it was going to rain. Like I said before, what could go wrong? Well, yeah, dear listener, I found out how wrong it could really go for us.
I was awoken that night at around 1:30, and there was a torrential downpour above us. Not only that, it sounded as though the wind was whipping at about 300 miles per hour, and massive hailstones were pummeling my tent. There were flashes of lightning that seemed like a thousand suns happening every 10 seconds and thunderclaps with deafening roars. Not gonna lie, I was extremely petrified. I could hear by buddy sneezing non-stop in his tent during it all (we were under pine trees, he has a very bad allergy) that multiplied my fear because I knew that the end is near! It lasted for 2 hours, and I buried my head within my sleeping bag and wondering why I thought that it was wise to sleep under a lightning rod, uh, I mean a tree, and planning my escape to the car at a moment's notice if needed. Dear listeners, I was relegated to the fetal position and turning back into the sissy camper that I really was. I was indeed back at square one.
When we woke in the morning, we had to carefully pack (after shaking out) all of our drenched gear and drove 5 hours to a hotel that was gracious enough to permit usage of a private room in which to completely dry out our gear. Dear listener, I made promise to Mother Nature that I would use my fortune of survival against the elements to create a session in the volume of the Camping Under The Stars series. I could only happily oblige. Even though Mother Nature can be comforting and offer serenity and peace, she also exists to put us in our places. She provides a balance of awareness, and offers us sanctuary. Remain cognizant of her beauty and power, respect her intentions, use this session to overcome your challenges, and invigorate your senses with monumental breakthroughs. Make the time to exercise your new mental awareness and gain a new appreciation and respect for Mother Nature in all of her beauty.
Shameless plug time!! The very last song is an original song of mine that will be...