Saturday, June 07, 2008

Holy [censored]!

Today, we drove the scenic route from Frederick to a party at my cousin's house south of Fredericksburg, VA, taking Routes 15 and 17 past Leesburg, Haymarket, and Warrenton. Because of the heat and humidity, LC suggested we take her car and not the Cygmobile, which now needs tires and a new AC compressor.

It was definitely a scenic route as we passed numerous country clubs, horse farms, and planned developments. We saw some of the damage from the severe storms that swept through the area a few days ago, such as downed trees and limbs draped over power lines. We also passed the Flying Circus Aerodrome in Bealeton, which has nothing to do with Monty Python, but which hosts airshows just about every Sunday through the summer. Then, on the edge of Fredericksburg, we saw the massive regional headquarters of GEICO. I checked the tires later to see whether we'd run over a gecko. As we neared the party, I noticed storm clouds trying to form on the horizon.

Then we arrived on this hot and humid afternoon at my cousin's house in Massaponax for the graduation party of his lovely daughter Angela. It was the first time we'd ventured down to their place. Both my cousin and his wife were nursing leg injuries, and I figured between them and me with my elbow, we had approximately one healthy body. We enjoyed being with then and other relatives, including my mom and dad who had just spent a few days at Massanutten courtesy of friends of theirs.

I'll just say I had too much to eat, and leave it at that.

We took the more direct way home up I-95, but before doing so, we took advantage of gasoline that was ten cents a gallon cheaper than north of the Potomac, or north of the Occaquan for that matter. I noticed that the Rappahannock River had returned to its normal state after being virtually dry last fall.

In the distance, we saw lightning which we thought at first was too far off to affect us. But as we approached Quantico, the lightning increased in intensity and was soon accompanied by torrential rains. The showers let up slightly, and then started again.

And then, as we reached Woodbridge, BOOOM! Neither of us can remember being that close to a bolt of lightning in our lives. It struck either the trees just off the roadway, or perhaps the shoulder itself. But we saw it, heard it, felt it, were blinded momentarily by it, and scared out of our shorts by it, and we responded, "Holy [expletive]!" Oh well, back to confession, I guess.

By the time we got to Springfield (isn't that a song?), most of the roughest stuff had passed. We just had intermittent rains and much more distant lightning until we got back to Frederick, where the sky had cleared. But we won't soon forget coming thisclose to being fried.


paramedicgirl said...

I just love storms! But I have to admit, our Canadian storms pale in comparison to the storms of the Midwest. I got to experience one of those storms when I was in Ames, Iowa over ten years ago. The storm literally shook the dorms of the ISU where we were staying, and I was in awe of the whole show. I realized then that our northern storms are nothing compared to what the US experiences. I wonder why that is?

Cygnus said...

I understand that the Central US is one of the most tornado-prone areas of the world. As I play Amateur Meteorologist, I think it's because of the collision of the warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico combined with the cold, dry air from Canada that creates such terrific storms.

Of course, the plains of Canada can get quite hot as well during the summer. I suspect they may not get as much of the humidity.

So see, it's all your fault. :-P :-)

Silvergirl said...

I'm glad you and LC made it out of that situation unharmed. Scary stuff. DD has nightmares about tornados, and she freaks every time we have a thunderstorm.