Friday, November 02, 2007

The Tree What Almost Got Us

Back in January of 2006, my wife and son and I packed up the Casita trailer and headed to Davidson River Campground in the Pisgah National Forest. I planned on doing some hiking and we also intended to visit Asheville, a town my son adores. We had gotten a late start and so didn’t arrive at the National Forest campground until after dark. As it was late, I couldn’t see well enough to back into the spot where I was supposed to park my trailer. So I decided to just leave it on the asphalt pull-through until the next day.

During the night, an intense cold front came through. We awakened to extremely fierce winds that were tearing through the campground. Later, we learned that the winds hit hurricane force and exceeded 70 mph. As we lay in the Casita listening to the sounds of the wind, there was a sudden smashing noise and a vibration ran up the ground, and into the trailer. I jumped up and opened the door to see what it was.

A large pine tree near the trailer had snapped off almost at the base and had missed us by only a few feet. As I stood there looking at it, I realized that if I’d parked where I was supposed to have, the tree would have bisected my trailer. We were very happy that we had gotten such a late start and hadn’t had enough light to back into our proper space.

This is the tree what almost got us!

Later, touring the campground, we noted that another large white pine had fallen on the bathhouse, penetrating the roof and causing quite a bit of damage there. Fortunately, the windstorm was short-lived and passed through in quick order.

But we had a very close call.

The rest of our trip was great. I got in a lot of hiking, bagged a few peaks, and we had a wonderful time walking around Asheville during a snow flurry that made the visit a lot more memorable.

This is the beer that helped me forget about the tree what almost got us. (At the Mellow Mushroom in Asheville--highly recommended!)


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Once upon a time, I was on the Illinois River with my dad and a few uncles when a tornado went by along the shore, this too in the middle of the night. We were in a houseboat. Mother Nature is amazing.

HemlockMan said...

I've never been on the water during a really bad storm. I have been uncomfortably close to a tornado. My dad and I rounded a curve in the road on our way home from Chattanooga to see a house with its roof torn off and the cloud retreating to our right. If we'd been ten seconds earlier, we'd have been *in* the tornado.