Monday, July 16, 2007

Oh! So it's Chicago that is the windy city!

We spent the entire last weekend with our ward.

On Thursday I took off early from work and Crystal and I went to the temple for our ward temple night for the month. There's not too much more to say about that. It was great but rather crazy. You see, the following temples are all currently closed for repair and cleaning for the rest of the month: Salt Lake, Jordan River, and Provo. That means we all funneled into the Mount Timpanogos Temple. Knowing this, we planned ahead and left way early. Crystal and I got into the chapel a little over an hour before our intended session and we nearly did not get in when we planned.

The Friday and Saturday of the weekend we were on a ward campout. We had planned to go to Black Hawk campground (I don't know if I spelled that right), but apparently a recent string of vicious bear attacks there greatly worried our bishop and his wife. Two days before the campout we received phone calls saying that the location of the campout was being moved to Woodland Hills (small city on the mountain). Apparently our bishop has his house on the mountain and owns a good portion of land that we could camp on. Turns out the Bishop's intuition (inspiration?) was correct because a bear was sighted wandering around Black Hawk on Thursday so the campground was closed for the weekend anyways.

True to form we showed up early and we, along with the 3 or 4 other on-time/early couples, fought for one of the few spots of flat ground to pitch our tent on(we were on a mountain after all). Don't worry, we were not greedy or pushy. Everyone single early/on-time couple had the perfect spot they wanted. The late stragglers though had to find open ground in the woods around the bishop's house. We had a great night and turned in ready for blissful slumber.

That was when we experienced what it must be like in Chicago for it to be dubbed the windy city. At roughly 1 in the morning we were startled awake by a shaking tent. The wind was ripping through the trees and pushing our tent to and fro. We were well-staked and stayed put, but that didn't stop the wind from causing our rain fly to flap on the sides, making slapping noises, and the sides of our tent to bulge in from the gale.

The interesting part was how with the wind roaring and us just laying in our tent how alone you felt. We couldn't hear any other couples and initially wondered if they all fled into the house for shelter from the rainless tempest. I got up and went outside to check the stakes and rain fly just in case and saw a completely different world. We were definitely not alone. At the time that I went outside to check on my tent, almost every husband of every tent that I could see was also doing the same thing, so we were definitely not alone in our suffering.

Luckily, we survived the night. In fact, our little on-sale-$20 tent performed absolutely perfectly in the maelstrom. We stayed perfectly staked in the ground and not a single latch or hook on our tent came undone throughout the hurricane. Way to go Criddles!

There was one couple who had about a 12 person tent (they said they never wanted to buy another tent after having a family), but their shelter was so huge that it acted like a sail in the wind and they were picked up by gusts and slid all over the side of the mountain, stakes and all. They only moved 5-10 feet, but when you're in a huge tent that is sliding around I'm sure it seems like more.

All in all we had a great time camping, though we may rethink camping on a mountain in the near future.

One last note, we were by far the fastest couple in pitching our tent because of the practice we had a couple nights before. Most of the other couples were reading directions as they went on confused and others just skipped the directions and experimented on their own. Let's hear it for preplanning.

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