Wild Weather and Strange Beds

“We’re going to the storm shelter. Do you want a ride?”

I’d just finished cooking my dinner when the campground hosts pulled up. My gear was unloaded and spread out against the wall of the bandstand.

“No thanks. I’ll be fine.”

I had a roof, a floor, and a single wall. Perfectly adequate weather protection. Why did people fret so much about a little weather?

A few minutes later, as I ate my rice and vegetables, a siren went off on the opposite side of the Mississippi River. What’s that for? I wondered. A minute later, the freight train of wind and rain roared in. I stood against the wall, my tank top and shorts instantly soaked, and wrapped my yoga mat around me. (Because yoga will save me from a tornado.)

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A few yards away, a huge tree fell over. I didn’t hear or see it fall down.

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My inadequate storm shelter

It wasn’t really a tornado, but what does a Californian know about extreme weather? Next time, I’ll go directly to the Church basement and skip the campground altogether.

When the wind subsided enough that I wasn’t getting sprayed with a fire hose, I set up my storm shelter. I pulled out my rainfly and tucked it around myself and my panniers. I even managed to sleep for awhile before the campground hosts returned to check up on me.

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People are so nice.

The next morning, the resident RVers invited me over to their brunch circle to talk about my trip and adventures the night before.

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Baby bird blown out of its nest by the storm.

I’m glad I hadn’t set up my tent because the wind would’ve destroyed it. Lately I’ve gotten tired of setting up the tent all the time. It’s too muggy. I’d rather find a roof.

Here are some of my best sleeping spots of late:

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July 4th: I slept in this dugout. Because what’s more American than baseball?
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Under a table at the Volunteer Fire Department. Awesome, until there was a fire and they all came running back in halfway through the night. 
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Probably this covered wagon is meant for kids, not campers. But I absolutely couldn’t resist. One more thing checked off my bucket list!
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I even found a bed! Not pictured, the six dogs that came with this bed. We were cozy.

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