There is a saying around Michigan -- "If you live here and don't like the weather, wait five minutes it'll change". I realized that the hard way.
My family and I were camping in a Michigan State Park about an hour drive from our home. I own a Starcraft Galaxy pop up camper and have more gear than is really necessary for a great time in the outdoors, but then again who doesn't? We had been there about three or four days and had been having a wonderful time riding our bikes, fishing, making Smores and pizza sandwiches around the campfire. On our last night there I had made the suggestion that we take down the dining canopy and get it put away as well as all of the other loose gear just so that we wouldn't have to do it in the morning.
Being a retired Navy man, I always keep a very close eye on the weather so that we can take the proper precautions should a bad storm head our way. The forecast was calling for rain the next afternoon and so I was a bit tense that day. About 3 a.m. something woke me from a dead sleep, so decided to grab my phone to check the weather. To my shock there was a very large and very ominous storm lurking out over Lake Michigan just offshore. I lay in bed trying to calculate exactly how much time we had before the storm would be upon us. After several minutes passed I decided that it would be in the best interest for all if I woke everyone up and got them moving. As you can imagine I was not Mr. Popular at that moment, but everyone got up and got dressed with me barking orders the whole time.
Everyone was still sleepy and groggy, but we managed to get all the gear stored, bunks pushed in and the top down in just a hair over 35 minutes. Within 45 minutes we were piled into our truck and leaving the campground. I kept expecting to run into that storm as we were driving but to my dismay, nothing, not even a single drop of rain hit the windshield.
We arrived home about an hour later and still no rain. I decided to leave the camper hooked up to my truck and head into the house. We were all so tired from the rushed exit from the campground that we just went back to bed. I woke a few hours later, we got up and went outside to look around, still... no rain! I went back into the house and once again, checked the weather. That huge, ominous rain cloud was gone, it simply vanished. Not a single drop of rain had fallen anywhere on dry land. The storm just evaporated as it approached the shoreline and I was left with egg on my face. As it turned out, no rain fell the entire day.
My wife still tells the story of how I woke everyone up at 3 a.m. for the emergency evacuation due to a storm that never materialized. She teases me by telling people how she and her family go camping, and how they get to sleep only until 3 a.m., until her husband puts everyone through a speed drill to stow and go.
Since that trip I still watch the weather, but now I wait a while before sounding the panic alarm. So far it has worked out well
Howard City, Michigan
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