Jump to content
REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UPLAND JOURNAL Read more... ×
dgfavor

Just Glad to Be Here

Recommended Posts

dgfavor

Woke up this morning to low clouds and spitting rain.  It looked like we'd be able to get a couple braces of training in before the weather looked like it was really going to get serious.  We drove out to a spot that this time of year I only go to if we have moisture.  The two track road in gets real high grass and I always worry about fire - so it's my rainy day place to go.  I park the truck and trailer on a broad open ridge top that makes for a nice location to run 3 one hour braces in different directions and you can see the rig from all the ridgetops we work up and down with the dogs. It was 58 degrees, spitting light rain and the clouds were really low, it felt like you could just reach up and touch them.  We couldn't see the nearby mountains but could see a decent distance looking low out across the plains below the clouds.   We saddled up and launched Blitz and Blue.  It was actually perfect for running dogs and not that bad for humans...horses were kind of "meh". 

 

We worked up the first broad ridge top, found a few birds then started to drop off to go down thru the draw then up onto the adjacent broad ridge top to the west of the truck.  As we started down I thought I saw or felt a wide flash like lightning but it was wierd.  I asked my wife if she saw that and she gave me the "see what?".  There was no thunder or anything else so on we went.  As we went up the other side it happened again.  "Did you see that?"  I asked.  "See what?" she said.  I blinked my eyes a few times wondering if I was having eye troubles - I had worked late and sometimes the computers kind of whack my eyes out for awhile.  We got into a nice bunch of birds and Blue, the pup, was having a good time pointing, knocking, chasing.  I pulled my Tracker and got a signal that Blitz was pointing.  We tracked him down up on the ridge top, I worked a single sharptail and was turning him loose.  As I walked back to my horse another wierd flash.  "Did you see that?" I asked.   "Yup, what the hell is that?"  "it has to be lightning babe" I said.  We were not hearing any cracks of lightning or thunder and with the low clouds I couldn't really get a feel where it was at but it lit up the clouds all above us.  I knew it was lightning and we were in the worst place we could be.

 

I told her we had to get the hell down off that wide open grass ridge.  We got the dogs rounded up, angled our way down off that ridge back towards the truck at a good clip trying to first get into the bottom.  About a 1/3 of the way down Blitz had a nice find right out front the direction we were going.  As we rode up, the birds popped, he stood great...and then we both saw the first definitive bolt of lightning hit a ridge below the clouds about 3 or 4 ridges away.  My wife asked if I was going to get off and work him (handle him like I would in a trial).  "F.... no, I'm getting the hell down into the bottom".  I popped my pistol from the saddle, told him "OK" and we hustled down toward the bottom. 

 

We couldn't have went 50ft then a deafening "craaaaaack" with a blinding flash....a bolt of lightning hit the wide open grass what looked to be only 100ft directly in our path in front of us...like it was cutting us off from the bottom.  I happened to be looking perfectly in the direction and it hit directly in front of my wife who was in front of me.  It's length/height was real short extending up into the low clouds that felt just above our heads.  It takes 100x more for me to type this than it took for the thing to occur.  My wife said she had her head down when suddenly her entire vision was filled with a blinding white and a deafening "snap".  Her horse wheeled around for a couple steps then gathered up a little spooked.  My wife said  she could hear or feel a buzzing that kept going - I couldn't hear or feel anything but my ears were ringing like someone had shot a gun close to my head.  We had no choice but to get down into the bottom then decide what the hell to do from there. 

 

The sky really started flashing overhead but you couldn't see any actual bolts of lightning anywhere...we worried and wondered when the next one might nail us.  We made it to the bottom of the draw, and thank goodness the dogs sensed our panic and heeded our hacking to stick with us. We were still in wide open country,  horseback, and by far the tallest thing around compared to some sparse 3ft tall sagebrush.  I felt our options were to tie our horses to the brush, get some distance distance away from them and lay down in the ditch....or stay in the bottom horseback, hustling like hell sticking to the high side of the bank and get back to the bottom of the ridge that ran back up to the truck.  We decided to go for it. 

 

The whole way down the draw, which twists and winds back and forth as those washes do, the totally silent flashes continued to fill the clouds over our heads but there were no definitive lightning bolts we could see, no thunder...it felt like someone was turning the lights on and off.but close, like we could reach up and touch it.  It tooks us about 20" at a fast running walk to wind our way back to the two-track we drove in on and end up about a half mile below the truck sitting up on the ridge top.  Again...we had to decide do we lay down in the ditch or go for it to the truck on the ridgetop where it seemed much more likely to get struck.  I liked my odds in the truck better if we could get there, she said she'd do whatever I did so I gave Moose the "over-under" with the reins like we were breaking into the arena to run barrels.  The dogs stayed in the two track thankfully ahead of us, we hit a full pony express run and made it to the ridge top with the sky continuing to flash and now some thunderous booms.  Just as I approached the truck a wicked flash of light literally surrounded us - totally silent.  I hit the ground running and loaded Moose at a jog.  As I tied him I heard my wife banging in behind me loading Bean.  I turned around and she ridden Beanie straight into the trailer.  I asked if she rode him in on purpose and she said he wouldn't stop and bailed in.  I think they knew we were in a bad way.  She jumped off, ran out into the wilds and I heard her yelling for dogs.  I got Bean tied up, ran out, and found her securing the dogs in their kennels in the front of the trailer. 

 

We felt alot safer in the trailer but it was still flashing and  she said she could hear buzzing.  We darted out of the horse trailer, bailed into the truck still wearing chaps, guns, e-collar transmitters, etc and got the hell down off that ridge.  As we drove out it was just flashing like crazy on the ridges all around us.  Wind was howling.  Water was running down the roads and flowing like creeks in the draws that were previously dry.   Neither of us realized how hard and heavy the rain was...or that it was raining at all, until we got in the truck to drive home.

 

I have been in some bad lightning storms hunting and fishing but that was by far the closest bolt of lightning, in the most exposed position I had ever had. I've always had a decent place that I felt comfortable ducking down and waiting it out...there was nowhere out there that felt safe and it was a wierd storm being largely totally silent and no perceptable safe direction to go.   I'm no lightning scientist and I'm not sure it's possible to be within 100ft. of a lightning bolt on the open prairies and not get killed but it couldn't have been much farther...I literally saw it hit the ground directly in front of my wife.  As we drove out, both of us noted our hearts still racings like we'd been running,  she thought she was going to be sick. Freaked us out good...truly glad to be alive.

 

DSC02148.thumb.jpg.7f5e8122683ce5aeca70d23de09b5113.jpg  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WPG Gizmo

When it goes to crap it always happens in a hurry glad you made it out safe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ccavacini

Damn...glad you're ok.  Would have freaked me out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RookieEP

That was a wild one.  Great story and reminder to be safe.  How much for the Pointer?   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Natty Bumpo

This wasn't your day to die........... So Glad you, your wife, the pups and your rig made it out of there alive. Praise God!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cooter Brown

That was a heck of a morning.  You did a great job with the telling of it too--I was nervous as a cat just reading it.

 

Glad all are OK!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gaberdeen

Holy shi*$ters Batman! That is dam scary. Glad you and your clan are all safe!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gunsrus

That was one hell of a story . Glad all is well . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quailguy

JesuCristo!!  That is a very scary deal and y’all were very lucky. 

I would like to be understand why all the lightening made no sound? There are a number of cases of observers reporting lightening overhead but no noise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ESetterSage

I like the look of your dog what's he out of. Glad everyone and everything is ok. Quick thinking always helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EB&Me

Glad to hear your safe & sound. That was a close call for sure. Bare ridges, not the place to be right then. Sort of supprised the horses didn't spook worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bigdog MN

Never been in anything like that...thank god you made it out with all intact

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pa'tridge hunters

Mother Nature is a fickle old gal. Glad your all safe and sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Remo

You are now dglucky. Glad you escaped unscathed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jazz4Brazo

Wow...well written and felt like I was right there with you...that is some scary stuff.

 

We always called it sheet lightning when the sky lights up like that but no sound and no hits...I believe it is cloud to cloud lightening and it may be the thin air at altitude causes the lack of sound?

 

Glad it turned out well and a reminder ot us all to heed mother nature!!

 

J4B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×