After camping with Brian and other friends Saturday night at Raystown Lake’s Seven Points campground, we headed to the Visitor Center to take in the view again, and to hike some of the trails. I’m a man of few words, and pictures are a thousand, so I’ll let the photography do the talking.
I probably put three miles under my shoes that morning, and I’d have walked further if rain wasn’t fast approaching. The views of lake and woods were spectacular. But I stopped for lunch and wound up enjoying a picnic in the front seat of the car as rain pour on the area. Once the weather broke I drove to Raystown’s Susquehannock Campground, the non-electric camping area, to secure my tent site for the night.
I located what I thought was a perfect site – on the lake, and free of the tree canopy. Parking was about a hundred feet up the hill, and under trees, but still, I could carry my gear up and down.
However, trouble was on the way. More rain, this time thunderstorms. I determined to ride out the storms in my tent, and entered as the rain picked up.
I crawled inside and removed my wet clothes aside from my underwear. Since tents are warm, and mine especially so, I didn’t bother to change into dry clothes. I began to read until I noticed the tent was moving.
When choosing my “ideal location”, I’d forgotten thunderstorms are more than rain and thunder. They are wind too. While the tent wasn’t going to blow over with 300 pounds of me in the bottom, I realized the stony ground wasn’t going to hold down the rain fly that well. My stakes were too loosely put in. I felt the wind pulling the fly with each gust.
I had a decision to make. I could either stay put, and trust the rain fly would not blow away. Or I could get out and move the tent up the hill to under the tree cover, where the trees would act as a wind break. The next gust persuaded me better to act that to not. I quickly pulled on my shoes, and got out of the tent.
The rain was cold and refreshing on my skin as I pulled up stakes and began to pull the entire tent up the hill. Fortunately everyone else was inside because of the storm so I doubt anyone witnessed a 300 pound man clad only in boxer shorts and running shoes pulling a tent up the hillside. Its a minor miracle the tent didn’t collapse, or the poles collapse, or the interior get sopping wet, during my effort. But soon enough I had my nylon home under the trees. I quickly restaked it, went inside, dried off, and spent the night reading and listening to the rain.