It Rains in the Badlands?
Rain, (storms actually) followed us from Missouri. When we left we thought we were leaving them behind us. Were we ever wrong! May is normally the wettest month in the badlands, and still only averages 3″ of rainfall. This year we’ve had at least a foot!
The local sheriff’s office drove through one evening to let us know a severe storm was heading in our direction, to please let our campers know to take shelter. The bathroom/shower-house is the also the storm shelters. If you had seen these when we first arrived, you would probably chose to ride out the storm in your car. Cliff has spent a lot of hours getting them remodeled and all painted up. They look much better now and all the black mold is now gone.
Tennis ball size hail was being reported over in the next town. Running from campsite to campsite I completed the task of informing everyone to take cover, ending with our exchange students… Try explaining hail to someone who has never seen or heard of it. Thankfully one of the young gentlemen knew what hail was so he explained to the others as “big ice that falls from the sky and hurts”. It’s hard to believe that the students never heard of hail (even in their own language) and I’m not sure that they believed him at first. Soon they found out just what he meant and were running for cover.
Fortunately for us the storm moved just south of us by 8 miles. The Cedar Pass Lodge inside the Badlands National Park took the impact with broken sky lights, smashed car windshields, and some other minor damage. One of the employees tried to run through it to close an open car window and got some ugly bruises as a result. At Circle 10 we were blessed by pea-to-grape-sized hail that didn’t do any damage. The storm did provide a remarkable lightning show and was great free entertainment.