Natural Desire


Something about not being able to do a particular thing really makes you just want to do that one thing.

Over the past several years I have been experiencing worsening problems with my health that could not really be explained. The bottom fell through this year and I have been very ill since about the middle of February.  I was finally diagnosed in June, and my team of doctors has since developed a treatment system that is keeping the symptoms at bay. The illness is for a lack of better terms “in remission”. However, this experience has left me a shadow of my original self. The weakness and pain alone have been enough to keep me close to home, and closer to the couch. The medication takes its toll on the body, and having to eat a special diet comes with its difficulties. But the desire is still ever present, to experience nature like I have in the past.

Since I began life I loved to be outside. The joys of camping, hunting, fishing and the like has been the best reward I had incurred until I married my lovely wife. Her matched enthusiasm for nature truly turned us into very active outdoorsmen. Very rarely could you ever catch us home, unless the weather was exceptionally brutal. The trails, waters, and woods were our playground, and we played hard, often not coming home till very late, if at all. Every free moment of time we had, we were outside.

It is hard to explain really, but when I came to college and left the magic hills and rivers I was raised with, it made my time in the woods much more significant to me. When I started hiking my freshman year, it seemed every waking minute spent in nature was more valuable than the last. For a time I felt like that would be gone forever, until the doctors finally reach an agreed diagnosis. Now I am in limbo of sorts. I have been released by the doctor to return to the woods I love so much, but the weakness and pain that I am still recovering from is not agreeing with his decision.

Like my grandmother always told me, you never really know what you’ve got, until it’s gone. I want so bad to get back out there and experience the thrill of a good hike, or the excitement of a good hunt, but I am just not physically able as of yet. It’s like standing beside a river and dying of thirst. The hardest part for me personally, is that not only has my illness grounded me, but my wife as well. She simply doesn’t want to leave my side, knowing that I could not go with her. As frustrating as that may be for me, I know if the roles were reversed, I would rather never see another trail, and remain by her side. It takes a current review of your life I suppose to be able to accurately say what the most important thing in your life is. However, as I stated before, the desire to return to my woods is still there.

It has now become my current mission to get back in shape and finally put this illness behind me. I will never get away from it for good, but if it wants to continue holding me back it’s got one hell of a fight on its hands. I will prevail, regardless of how long it takes. This desire to return to the woods will not be in vain, and this time, I will cherish every moment I get to spend outside, and quit putting of hikes and trips that we want to do. No more hiding from the heat, or running from a light rain shower. I consider the opportunity a privilege, and not something to be wasted on a meager attempt to avoid discomfort.

So the next time you crawl into a deer-stand, or slide on a pack, keep in mind that many people across this country of ours would love to be in your position, but can not. Worse still, is that fact that there are people in the country that doesn’t even know that world exists. I feel that if more people had this desire, it would keep them from their vice of choice and encourage better overall behavior and participation in outdoor recreation. With that being said, take a kid fishing, invite a buddy camping, or take someone along for a hike. Not only should we cherish every moment that we get in nature, but we should also strive to share it with others.

Storm Chasing


 
Disclaimer:
We accept no responsibility for your actions after reading this article. Mother nature is a very dangerous thing, and should be treated as such. Storm chasers in real life are very highly trained personnel that take extreme risks for the protection of others from the most dangerous weather on earth. The decision to place yourself intentionally in front of or close to any storm of any caliber should be a very educated decision. Death or serious injury could result from your ignorance of the specifics of a storm. We make our decisions based on training that both of us have received from different entities, and are in no way encouraging others to participate in this way. This article is strictly for entertainment purposes only. DO NOT TRY THIS ON YOUR OWN!

Over the years we have grown extremely fascinated with severe weather. This lead us to seek out training as well as personal research, and resulted in us enjoying a mild form of storm chasing. From time to time when possible, we will chase a severe storm both for personal entertainment, and to document the storm for research purposes. We also work with local entities to assist with warning people in the path of the storm.

Today was one of those days. While relaxing at home, we got word of some storms moving into the area. After some cloud watching, it was obvious that we would soon be dealing with a possible severe storm. Grabbing our gear we headed out to see what we could get on camera.

After some radar work, we got in position for some photography. Nothing was going right, as the storm seemed to be splitting around us, leaving me chasing the tail flashes of every lightning bolt in the sky. We made the decision to head south and get in front of the storm in hopes of getting some good shots, but with dark quickly approaching, we didn’t have much time. Diving smoothly into the rain belt we were soon in torrential rain. We found a nice location and set up for the storm . It was one of the most impressive electrical storms I have seen in a long time. If the storm would have passed a few days later (July 4th) it would have been as fitting and any fireworks display in the country.

The lightning flashed in every inch of the sky, with huge blue and white cloud to ground bolts dropping all around us. Mind you were were in the safety of our vehicle. The storm continued for several minutes with wind and rain blasting the entire time. From the dark parking lot atop a hill in the middle of the country we had the perfect vantage point. The rain was so heavy that the photography and videography was not possible. Without many other options, we simply sat back and enjoyed the show mother nature had for us.

Its important to remember, especially for hikers and other outdoorsmen, that for all the beauty mother nature has, there always remains an extreme possibility for danger. The power released during a severe thunderstorm is immense. Its humbling to see in general, but from such a vantage point, and experience that neither of us will soon forget.

Storm chasing in general is a somber event. You feel the rush and love the excitement of what is occurring, but at the same time, everyone somewhere in the back of their minds, feels compassion for the people hurt during the storms. We are not excited for the damage that is caused, and would prefer that all storms occur over open fields, but we realize that this is not possible, and that people are hurt in many ways by such activity. We feel very much for these people, and one of the main reasons we do what we do is to assist in providing information for the weather services to provide better warnings, as well as video and pictures to use in the research of severe weather. In a perfect world these storms would simply be grand shows on huge stages, but they are not. They are in fact, very dangerous to our society, and to anyone in their paths.

To all the other chasers out there, I hope you are doing this for the right reasons. It takes people like you, like us, to improve the safety for everyone. God bless, and stay safe. To everyone else, the next time a storm rolls through your area, watch it carefully, and remember that its very possible that someone is chasing it as it passes.