Friday, September 21, 2012

Thursday Adventure

Yesterday, Josh and I decided to take April for a walk on the beach in Oliphant. Upon arrival we had to drive through a muddy sandpit to reach the water. Josh was laughing, saying there was no way we'd get back out again without getting stuck. We drove as far onto the sand as our little Honda would take us, then sloshed through the wet sludge in our boots for another half-kilometre out to the lake. April was ecstatic. She has never been able to run freely on a beach.

I noticed a funny looking cloud on the horizon. If you know me, one of my irrational fears is tornados, so I'm always scanning the sky and checking my Environment Canada storm warning app. I tried to think nothing of it and went back to enjoying the deserted, windy beach. A few minutes later I glanced back at the cloud, and it had definitely gotten larger and closer to the ground. 

I casually called to Josh. "Hey, does that cloud kinda look like a tornado to you?" Just as we were watching, it suddenly got bigger, and we realized it was advancing toward us. Me, being awesome in stressful situations, started screaming and running back to the car. The mud was so hard to run through, and April, wondering what was wrong, kept jumping on me frantically and grabbing my jeans with her teeth. It was like one of those nightmares where you're trying to escape the murderer, but your legs won't move.

Finally, exhausted, panicked, and covered in sandy mud, we reached the car. I forced myself to look back at the tornado, and it had gotten closer still. I fumbled with the keys trying to get the door unlocked while Josh attempted to catch an incredibly hyper April. 

Josh and I eventually jumped into our seats, but freaking April thought the whole thing was a game. I just remember seeing her running wildly in circles around the vehicle with a crazed look in her eyes, as a tornado loomed in the water a kilometre in front of us. In this moment, I literally thought we were all going to die. 

Somehow, Josh convinced her to get in the car. If I was thinking I would have been snapping pictures of the tornado right in front of us. But that's the great thing about panic. You forget about everything but survival. Slowly, our car started pulling itself out of the mud and back to the main road. Then I remembered what Josh had said as we were driving in. There's no way we're going to get back out of here again. I saw the mud hole getting closer in front of us and prayed with all my might that we'd get through. Nope, we got stuck. Again, I just accepted the fact that we were going to die. 

We eventually got through the mud pit, but by this point the tornado was disappearing. I felt my panic disappearing as well. 

Back on the main road, still a little shaky, I asked Josh if he had really been scared. He said no, those kinds of tornadoes rarely travel on land. 

That would have been nice to know.

We stopped at another trail on our way home in an attempt to wipe the sullen look off of April's face. A few feet onto the boardwalk and the wind picked up, thunder rumbled and lightening streaked the sky. Again, I ran back to the car. Again, April was sad and confused.

We made it to Sauble Beach where we thought pizza would be a good idea for dinner. Josh called and ordered it, and they told us we had a 25 minute wait. We headed down to the water to watch the storm. This time I felt safer, since Sauble was way more populated and it would be easy to find shelter if need be. 

Suddenly, an airplane came flying roughly in from the lake. It was so close to the ground that I could see the pilot sitting in his seat. He must have been trying to out-run the storm coming in, for right behind him was another water-tornado forming. This time I felt more confident in the car so we sat and watched for awhile. 

On the way home we saw a mother doe and her fawn on the side of the road. Josh stopped the car. The doe quickly jumped the fence to escape into the forest behind her. The fawn wasn't so lucky, getting stuck in the wire. For the millionth time in the day, panic set in. It was awful watching that poor little thing struggle. Josh jumped out of the car to go help, but thankfully it pulled itself out and disappeared with it's mom. 

We spent the rest of the night enjoying our pizza and watching Friends on the couch as the storm raged on outside. This time, I was warm and cozy and very thankful for strong walls.

PS. I just found this photo on The Weather Network of someone who took a picture the same day in Southampton! THIS is literally what we were looking at!

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