Saturday, August 16, 2008

Origins '08 part 1: Stormy Weather!

In keeping with tradition I'm posting this post about my annual trip to Origins a month and a half late.

The trip to Columbus, Ohio for the con was uneventful. I arrived at the Alton RV Park outside the city and set up the tent just before a violent storm blew through and collapsed the tent on top of me. After the storm I reset the tent properly in time for the next wave of the storm (or storms) and it survived better. I hit the sack at about 10:30 with the rumblings of another storm audible in the distance but I fell asleep anyway.

Suddenly at 11:45 the tornado siren that was actually located in the campground itself went off and I hit the ceiling of the tent! Stepping outside I saw the wind was picking up again with lots and lots of lightning flashes lighting up the sky quickly. Old people were shuffling from their RVs to the basement of the camp office to seek shelter. Like the brave fool I am I just stood there and watched the storm for a while then hopped into the Civic and fired up the laptop to check the RADAR on the camp's free WiFi.

Looking at the image I could see that it was a monster. Rather than the regular thin, vertical (north/south) line passing over the city west to east, this storm was a big, gigantic, horizontal (east/west) blob that was moving slowly. I went back to sleep in the tent around 12:30am but woke up every hour after that and still could hear the frequent thunder and flashes of lightning.

The sirens continued to cycle on and off for an hour. I found out on the morning news at the con that the sirens were supposed to stop around 12:30am but a lightning strike had damaged the system so they had to go to the source and pull the plug manually. The lightning was that crazy!

When I woke up I found water had gotten into the tent somehow and filled each corner. A couple more inches and my air mattress may have been floating. ;p The only reason that I can find after much thought is that the seams hadn't been waterproofed properly and rain would soak in and then drain onto the floor.

More on the con itself in the next post.

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