Sunday, July 11, 2010

July Rain

This morning I volunteered to watch a road crossing and stop traffic for the Run the Keweenaw. It's their debut trail running fest, and they sure did a wonderful job! In the morning, the sky was a little gray, and the radar confirmed that storms were possible. I dressed appropriately for rain, leaving my raincoat in the truck at a quick running distance.

I greeted all the runners with a "Keep it up!" and "You're doing great!" Then the sky got really dark. Thunder rumbled above like the Great Harley Davidsons in the Sky. The rain was coming for sure. Any second.

The air was decently warm, so I decided to be a tough cookie and keep my rain coat in the truck. All the runners were going to get wet, why couldn't I? As lightning flashed above me, I decided to set the metal stop sign which was attached a steel rod in my hand, down on the ground. You know, just so I could remember my name after the morning was over. I would just direct traffic with big arm movements.

Then it poured. Cold, hard rain. Within the first 6 seconds, I wished I had opted for the rain coat. The rain was coming down so hard I couldn't even see as it pelted my eyes. But I was going to be tough and pull it off.

Lots of cars came in and out of the campground. Lots of cars, but no runners. Did the runners stop in the woods? No, runners don't do that. Maybe there was just a lull between groups. I hadn't seen a runner since just before it rained. Just before.... But it was my duty to serve and protect, so in the rain I waited... shivering and making big arm circles for the cars to go on.

As I stood, waving and dripping, I began to wonder what was going on. I hadn't seen a runner in over 10 minutes! But I couldn't leave until the sweep came through. So I waited. Still no runners came.

Then I saw him. A man on a bicycle. Was this my sweeper? It was! It was my sweeper! He told me they had all passed.

On my way to the truck I thought, "Wow. So I just stood in the rain for nothing. Nothing except to say that I stood in the pouring rain. I could have been warm and dry. But that doesn't build character."

To top it all off, when I turned on the truck, The Rockin' Eagle was playing Guns 'n Roses "November Rain." I laughed a crazy person laugh. What a morning.

At least I got to eat thimbleberries and collect sugar plums! And as I picked a half gallon of bilberries yesterday, I thought we could use some rain. Happy berry season!

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