wildlife

Snapshot Saturday: Thunderstorms and Lumo

I had the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon with some of my cousins recently and it was one of the best experiences of my life. We drove up from Phoenix in the morning so we arrived by late afternoon. After driving from our hotel to the actual park, with myself and 5 of my cousins in the back of a pick up truck, we had finally made it.

Now one of the biggest backgrounds to know about this whole story so you can understand the ending is that one of my younger cousins was wearing a neon yellow outfit, from head to toe this kid could be spotted from a mile away. These particular cousins are from South Africa, so instead of calling it “neon”, he calls it “lumo”. I later figured out that this is short for luminescence, which makes more sense to me anyways.

So back to the Grand Canyon, when we arrived one of the rangers told us that if we hear thunder that we should seek shelter immediately. We could see a storm off in the distance when we arrived but we hadn’t heard thunder yet so we were not concerned. We began to walk the South Rim, taking lots of pictures and not doing anything too stupid as far as climbing out on cliffs, keeping our balance, etc.

Our group of 12 ended up splitting up and my group had only 5 of us. We continue walking, when all of a sudden we spot lightening out in the distance. This would’ve been the time to seek shelter, according to the park ranger. But that’s not fun, so we chose to sit on a cliff and watch the thunderstorm roll through. We could see the places where the sky opened up to let the rain through and see every bolt of lightening. It was absolulety incredible. The peace and tranquility you felt watching a huge thunderstorm was so beautifully unexpected.

After I snapped this photo, we continued to watch the storm until all of a sudden it was literally right in front of us. We all jumped up to start running. Now let’s take a roll call of the humans who had to run through this: a 17 year-old linebacker, a 16 year-old mountain biker and awesome athlete, a 9 year-old kid in lumo who lives in the mountains of South Africa, and a 40 year-old winemaker who harvests her own farm in South Africa. Oh wait, and then there’s me: the girl with asthma and glasses…one guess at who’s going to be at the end of this train, not to mention I have a big camera bag weighing me down (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it)

So right as we all jump to and start running it starts pouring down rain. Not lightly either, big fat rain drops. It was one of those storms where it rains sideways. After approximately 30 seconds of “running” (let’s be honest I was power walking), my glasses were completely blinding me from the rain so I rip them off. Well once I rip off my glasses I really can’t see anything, except for my little South African in “lumo”. He was truly the only thing I could see in all the chaos. So I start running after him for about 3 more minutes until we make it to shelter. Once we all rallied we all just started laughing, because of how insane/awesome that last 5 minutes had been. To top it all off we had ended up at the most fancy resort at the Canyon, in our soaking wet and dirty hiking clothes. So what did we do? Walked right into the lounge, ordered the young ones hot chocolate and got the adults a glass of wine.

The whole experience could not have been more perfect.

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