We camped at Custer State Park in South Dakota with 43 of our closest friends from Hawaii.
Talk about an ultimate reunion!
We were the third family to arrive at the campground. We pulled in to our space and started to unload. We figured if we got our tent set up quickly, we'd be available to help others set up their tents as they all arrived.
Before we could even start unloading, a park ranger whipped up in a little golf cart.
"Do not set up your tent," he told us. "Hail is predicted and we are under a tornado watch. You need to head for shelter!"
Well, "shelter" meant the cinder block restrooms or the tiny little cabin one of the families had reserved.
We piled into the cabin.
And we watched the marble-sized hail rain down.
As more families in our group arrived, we just crammed more people in. Some stood on the porch under the awning. We kept waiting for a break in the weather so we could set up the tent before it got dark.
It finally got down to a drizzle and we tried to throw the tent up really fast but the rain picked back up before we were done and the inside of the tent got wet enough that every time we stepped inside the ceiling released a patter of rain on us. We used all the towels we had brought to dry it out.
Then the temperature started dropping. It sunk into the low 50's every night. One night it actually got to 48 degrees. If I didn't have the world's smallest bladder, I would probably still be under the covers.
I don't know what it is with me and camping but our last two campouts have included a flash flood on one and rainy cold weather which kept us confined to our tent on the other.
Now we can add hail and tornado weather to my camping stories. I'm not positive, but I think God is telling me "thou shalt not camp anymore".