[VIDEO] Shot of the Week: Night Storm Symphony (Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA)

It was cool and sunny in South Dakota when we woke up in our tent this morning. No indication of the craziness that ensued last night, other than the minor bowing to our east-facing tent poles that left our tent slightly askew. And we were among the lucky. Our tent had survived.

Around 8pm the lightning started. It was beautiful. The sun was setting behind a thick wall of clouds, and whenever the distant lightning struck, pink light puffs would appear and pulse throughout the sky.

The campground full, there didn’t seem to be need for alarm. Everyone was continuing on, getting ready for bed as they would if there were no threat nor signs of a storm. It wasn’t until I overheard a neighboring camper collecting his son, telling him “Let’s go. I don’t want to be here when it hits,” that I started to worry. We quickly checked the radar on Ian’s phone, and the image confirmed: it was coming. And it would hit hard.

For another 40 minutes there was still no real alarm to be observed from other campers. But the sky was something else. An amazingly active — yet eerily silent — performance of light and clouds. (Watch the video at the top of this post to see it in action!)

I won’t get into the ill-preparedness of the park/campground/lodge staff. Suffice it to say they weren’t prepared, and it was the alarm of a scattered few people (us included) to be thanked for our safe arrival to the basement of the Cedar Pass Lodge just as the storm hit.

All video footage (aside from the timelapse at 1:31) was taken on Friday, June 19 with the Sony RX-100 III. The timelapse was taken with the Sony a7II and Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 lens.

I hope you enjoyed this shot of the week! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, where we more frequently share photos and details from our travels.

Want more? See all of our previous Shots of the Week.

This post was handcrafted especially for you during our travels to Yellowstone National Park, on our summer 2015 U.S. road trip.

About the Author

Diana Southern
In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.

6 Responses

  1. Brad Armstrong June 20, 2015 / 6:30 pm

    Ian and Diana,
    Spectacular video! So much lightning showing up that intense, tight rotation of the clouds! I grew up in tornado alley (Kansas), and always loved thunderstorms, but I have never seen a storm so beautiful. That was a rare treat!
    Thanks for recording and sharing 🙂
    Brad

    • Diana Southern June 20, 2015 / 6:34 pm

      Thanks Brad! I’ve never experienced a storm so utterly silent, either. It was so weird! And much less scary. 🙂

  2. Brad Armstrong June 24, 2015 / 9:27 am

    Hi Diana,

    Are you and Ian watching the solar / aurora news?

    Please, ask Ian to check his email. Ok?

    Brad

  3. Bob Nickell July 11, 2015 / 12:24 pm

    OMG! I was there in the campground that night!! I was in a big orange cabin tent. That’s something I never want to experience again. Thanks for uploading the video

    • Diana Southern July 11, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      No problem! I was wondering when someone we shared the experience with was going to see this. 🙂

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