Ahhh, caught in the rain stories. Do I have a doozey that I'll remember the rest of my days:
My friend Donna and I decided to brave our first adventure in the Hoosier National Forest. Before then it was strictly rides in the nearby state forest, which was okay, but we had heard so much about the annual Ladies Ride held at the Blackwell Horse Camp just south of Bloomington, IN.
We arrived with the sun shining and nice warm breezes for mid May. Perfect weather for trail riding. We didn't have time for a long ride, and never having been there before, decided to go out for an hour or two and check things out.
The trail led us around the rim of ravines deep enough that we were looking at treetops far below. Beauty surrounded us everywhere we looked, and I felt like we had entered a virtual paradise.
Thunder rolled in the distance, but Donna and I had rain gear with us and pressed on. Clouds moved in. The forest darkened with the first raindrops pricking our arms. It felt like warm bath water. No problem, and we kept riding. It started to rain harder. By then it was too late to think about putting on raincoats. We were already soaked.
The thunder grew louder. Lightning flashed over our heads. I remember yelling above the noise that maybe we should head back. Stupid suggestion to make in a downpour, and we turned back.
The rain came down so hard that I couldn't see a thing through my glasses and held onto them with one hand with the other on the reins. Water rush along the trails forming them into creeks two to four inches deep. I push my mare into a fast trot. I would've liked to have galloped, but Donna had a fear of going faster than a trot. So on we went.
What a wonderful sight to see camp through the trees ahead of us. We unsaddled the horses and left them to weather the storm at the hitch rail. I forget what Donna did but I dived into my trailer's dressing room compartment and listened to the deafening roar of rain pounding on the metal roof. My jeans came off like a second skin that I hung over the clothes rack. My underpants were saturated enough that water ran from them like I'd turned a water faucet on low. That was without any wringing!
I grabbed one of numerous rags I keep in the trailer to dry myself and stop me from shivering. The rain had turned cold before we made it to camp. How good it felt to get back into warm dry clothes. My billfold had been in my back pocket. It took over a month for the leather to totally dry out (I still have that billfold BTW ). My non-waterproof watch never ran again.
The rain never quit that day, and Donna and I were tent camping. You've never lived until you spend the night in a tent in an all-night rain. Somehow Donna got soaked on her side of the tent while I never did.
Beleive it or not, we stayed for the entire weekend, tent and all. Thank goodness the rain quit about twenty-four hours after it started.
Talk about one heck of an adventure!