Monday, June 13, 2011

Thunderstorm on the Blue Ridge Parkway

This past Saturday I took a day trip by myself. TB wasn't available and I wanted to go up to the Blue Ridge Parkway to take pictures of the mountain laurel that had just come into bloom.

The weather forecast called for scattered thunderstorms late in the afternoon and I figured I would be up and back home before they started up. So I drove up to Sparta to catch the Parkway just off US 21 with plans to head north for a while and then get off at US 52 at Fancy Gap, Virginia to catch Interstate 77 south to Mount Airy and then back home.

Well, as Robbie Burns once said "The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men/Gang aft agley/An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain/For promis'd joy."

I was a little bit north of Sparta when the sky just opened up and I was caught in the middle of a deluge; a deluge not only of rain, but hail and constant lightening and thunder. I slowed down to 30mph (the speed limit on the parkway is only 45mph), and then down to 25 and at one point I had to stop right on the parkway with my hazard lights on as I couldn't see even a foot ahead. I continued to creep along and a couple of times pulled into parking lots of scenic overlooks (nothing scenic to be seen as there was not only the rain, but fog as well).

At least I was dry and safe from the lightening in the car. I was trailed on some parts by motorcyclists - some who had planned ahead and were wearing wet gear, but most who were just drenched to the skin. But I felt sorriest for the cyclists peddling slowly and morosely in the storm.

I did get a chance to pull over and take a snapshot of one of the thunderstorms coming over the mountains from Virginia on its way to break our heat here in North Carolina.


frayedattheedge said...

That must have been very scary - but you did get a fabulous photo!!

Karen said...

The only good one out of what turned into a seven hour ordeal. I'll pay closer attention to weather from now on.