Monday, 28 July 2008

And we're back!

For two weeks. Then another two weeks up north, this time at Killbear Provincial Park, a traditional family summer haunt.

Apparently Southern Ontario got quite a bit of rain while we were away. Up by North Bay, we had sprinkles and the occasional shower, but nothing like what the southern parts of the province got.

Which brings to mind something. Every year I go away, something major happens. It used to be just work related. I'd go on vacation, and a server that was running fine for 2-3 years would up and quit. Since I always go camping where cell phone service is spotty, they couldn't get in contact with me.

Then a few years back while we were in Algonquin the power outage hit. Biggest power event ever, and I missed it all. Since I was already living without power, I was blissfully unaware. Missed all the panic, fuss and excitement.

This time, we missed a scary one.

Every time I lock the front door as I leave on vacation, I always wonder if the home will be there when we get back. Will someone break in? Will a fire break out? You never know. I don't stress about it, but its a passing thought every time I leave.

Well this time it was a real close call. Like 40 feet away close call. A real near miss.

The storm that blew through on Tuesday last week brought a near twister into our neighbourhood. The neighbours tell us that the sky went this eerie green colour, and that the clouds looked to be rotating up in the sky. One neighbour said she couldn't see out her patio door, it was like someone was spraying it with a high pressure hose. Another neighbour describes how in his backyard, the wind was blowing East to West, in his front, West to East.

And then BANG. Something blew fast toward our homes. A patio umbrella was snapped in half, the BBQ next to it on the deck was flipped over and tossed into the yard. It runs between the houses. Across the road a tree gets branches ripped off. And then it goes between two more houses and through the woodlot across from us. If you know where to look, you can see a straight line through the top of the trees where branches are sheared off. Some houses on the other side of the woodlot lost some siding, but that was the extent of the damage. Our side had no damage to our homes whatsoever. It must have been skimming along at rooftop level, because otherwise there is no way that the houses wouldn't have been damaged. As far as we can tell, it never actually touched down, but it was damned close.

At our home, one of our deck chairs was flipped over (they are heavy, they don't go over easy). One of the bricks I use to hold down my BBQ cover was tossed into the yard. I am proud to say that the pergola and deck I built sustained no damage whatsoever. I might be exaggerating to say the deck I built is tornado proof, but hey, that was no normal wind that went blew through!

I'm almost scared to go away this time. What next, a meteorite strike?


Raphael Alexander said...

I went to Killbear every year until I was 19. Or until it became prohibitively expensive. What is it now, $40 a night?

Some of my best memories there... the warm granite, the cold water, the towering pines.

Catelli said...

No, its $29 a night. But even $40 a night wouldn't be that bad. Ever stay at a private campground? Yeesh, you get no privacy, and you pay through the nose for it.

It is a beautiful park. One of my favourites.

Ken Breadner said...

Love Killbear. Parry Sound was my second home growing up.
Yeah, I was out watching the storm that spawned your downburst (which is what Environment Canada officially called it. Nasty. Glad to hear your house (and deck) came through okay.