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Touring Green - Blog 50: Grand Falls to Woodstock (August 3) 

Near-Death Experience #203: Woodstock Thunderstorms

So today starts off awesome; hot... not too hot like yesterday, hilly... not too hilly like the day before that, waterslidey... any amount of waterslidely is good.

Funny that I knocked on wood for the hill situation and not for the impending doom situation.

If you listen closely to that voice in the background over the radio when I'm making this video blog about how nice the day is, you can hear a warning being issued about a huge storm system. Funny, that would have been good to hear.

The day got pretty gross with nothing but severe wind, rain, thunder, lightning and general "oh $#!^" stuff. I put the camera away and actually had to get off the road for a bit today as a kind woman let me hangout at her lone house in the middle of an isolated patch just after I made this video blog. The thunder and lightning was hitting all around the hi-way and, for the first time, I actually thought I might be hit by it. Sorry that I couldn't video blog this for you but the camera would have been ruined for sure, had I. The experience was like a large amplifier being blasted on top of my head of thunder noises and the visuals were the brightest flashes I've seen; sometimes you couldn't even tell where the lightning was coming from as it just seemed all around you.

It eased up for a second and so I made this second video:

Turns out I'm not a shaman and turns out my incorrect reading of the clouds moments was only just a brief moment of disillusion to cope with the fact that I was about to go through the same frightening experience again. It's really quite amazing though how quickly we forget how bad something was and can bounce back to being alright. When I made this second video, I really thought everything was great and, immediately, it seemed like the whole situation was not as bad as I had made it out to be. But then, when it started to come back my feelings of strength and courage began to drop back to my mantra of "don't hit me with lightning; not yet". Luckily, THE FLAMING LIPS got me through it; I drifted off, amongst the crashes of thunder and the flashes of lightning to "Do You Realize", "Race For The Prize", "Yeah Yeah Yeah" and pretty much their whole discography to keep me from thinking about my chances with fate. THANK YOU WAYNE AND GANG!

When I awoke the next morning, I was beaten for sure but still alive thanks to them, not getting hit by lightning (or the traffic as that was probably the real danger during those conditions... especially with little visibility and with driver telling me retrospectively that they almost hit me but this is all hard to think about when you're seeing Natrural Geographic lightning style bolts splitting into three and such) and, luckily, I was put up by a kind hotel owner who had a spare bed for these sorts of occasions. Thanks Econo-Lodge!

"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!" - Dr. Seuss

:)

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