What’s a Little Rain?

Dad and I went to Yellowstone about a year ago—just the two of us, to the Lamar Buffalo Ranch, for a nature writing class—and we did some hiking and camping along the way. Most of the time, the end-of-August days delighted us with warm sun and cool air, but the forecast and cotton candy clouds foreboded rain.

The clouds delivered a couple of afternoon spurts worth dragging out our yellow ponchos for. And once, while we walked the boardwalk to Echinus geyser, they brought hail.

And every night for three nights, while we cooked our dinner, the sky sprinkled. Every night we sat by the fire in a gentle rain. And then, every night, it picked up and rained like it meant it. We wanted to linger by that fire, but how much can worn hikers really take?

Our weather-enforced curfew was probably good for us. We logged plenty of miles on foot and in the van during days that started early. Rain delivered the message that darkness and fatigue did not: go to sleep. So, every night after a short fire we retired, Dad to his tent and me to my luxurious pile of memory foam in the back of Mom and Dad’s twelve passenger van.

When Dad and I arrived at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch, we brought with us a wet mass of a wadded up the tent. Our cabin’s timbered railing provided a place to hang it to dry in the sun. Our camp chairs needed the same treatment, so we set them up on the porch.

Our gear dried quickly in the arid mountain air and when the time came to stow it back in the van, we kept one chair out. Our cabin featured one rustic wooden chair on the porch. Because of the rain, we thought to have two–two where we sat together every morning and evening, the kind of together that life rarely bestows once you grow up and move away from home.

Every day I wished it wouldn’t rain, but once again, through the rain came a gift. You’d think I’d learn.

And you? How do approach unexpected and unpleasant circumstances that come your way?

This is the second post in a 3 part series on the pitfalls of life outdoors, especially how those pitfalls may bring us closer together. Why post about camping in September? Its weather is usually an open invitation to step outside.

Sharing stories this week at Unforced Rhythms.

13 thoughts on “What’s a Little Rain?

  1. Beth Hess says:

    Yellowstone is a place of many wonders. I had some beautiful meetings with God in that place, too. And, you are right that sometimes a little rain is just the thing we need. Even if we don’t know it. Thanks, as always, for linking at Unforced Rhythms. We’re blessed to have you in the “family.”

  2. Lisa notes... says:

    Wowsa–I’m trying to imagine my dad and I, just the two of us, going anywhere, but especially to a nature writing class. 🙂 You’re a blessed daughter, Natalie! The most alone time I had with my dad was when he got cancer and I occasionally got to take him to a doctor’s appointment or sat in his room at the house to watch over him. He hated to be dependent on someone else to drive him or do things for him, but sometimes that’s part of being loved. Thanks for sharing this story of dealing with the unexpected, because the unexpected will always come!

    • Natalie says:

      Blessed, indeed. I was honored to receive the invitation and you honored your dad with your care and service when he needed it. It is hard to be dependent, part of the baring/bearing of burdens, I think. And yes, the unexpected will always, always, come.

  3. Shelly Miller says:

    Always love all your stories of camping adventure. I live vicariously through your words since camping is only something I’ve experienced in my head. Hope you had a good Sabbath and great start to your week.

    • Natalie says:

      My parents set me on the path to shared adventure early; perhaps that’s why I like to share my adventures. Who knows, you may have an unexpected camping adventure in your future! I did have a good Sabbath. Learning to rest in unlikely circumstances.

  4. mamabirddanielle says:

    “…the kind of together that life rarely bestows once you grow up and move away from home.” This not only reminds me to make the most of this time I have with my children, but to strive to make time with my own parents one-on-one. Thanks, friend.

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