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