Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

When we got news of Hurricane Irene causing likely flooding, downed trees, power outages, and gale-force winds all throughout the area this weekend, Florian decided it would be the perfect time to go camping on the coast. 

While Florian's tragic flaw may be a bit of... impulsiveness, mine is that I generally go along with his plans without getting full details ahead of time. 

So it was that we ended up driving the van toward the very center of Hurricane Irene as it passed over the coastal lowlands of the Chesapeake Bay, the same areas that sensible people had evacuated a few hours earlier. 

Fortunately, we were sleeping in the van and so had a relatively safe, albeit wet-dog-smelling, place to ride out the storm. 


Florian thought it would be neat to park the van close to the water so we could hear the surf. He found a road that led to Elliot Island, a secluded road covered with hopping frogs escaping the deep rivers on either side, and he drove us slow enough that, he promised, all the froggies escaped unscathed. 

I didn't think that our watertight van was going to do us much good once it was floating though. So after a few hours of listening to the rain and wind and Florian's snores, every so often turning on the front lights to check on the rising water level around us, I woke the sleeping Swiss guy and had him drive us to a safer spot. There we settled, and I spent the remaining hours of the night with both dogs cuddled close in their uncertainty about all the intense noises outside the van. I guess they must have assumed that I, as the human, felt at ease with the whole thing.

Overall I have to say those dogs were incredibly good sports through all the buffeting rain, howling winds, and frog-safe driving. So today when it cleared up we rewarded them with some time at Calvert cliffs near North Beach, where they could chase sticks, drink salt water, and paddle around to their hearts' content.

And we humans could enjoy stress-free wildlife viewing without fear of hurting any froggies. 


  1. wow! you guys are nuts! I'm glad it all ended well though.

  2. glad to hear you made it home. it was a pleasure meeting the pooches on saturday too :)

  3. I had to laugh at your mention of fatal flaws. Mine is such the same as yours. I probably would have gone along with the crazy plan as well - if only because I knew I would worry all night if he went without me.

    I am glad you didn't experience and horrific disasters and got through the night fairly well. Now you can cross spending the night in a hurricane off your life list!

  4. Thanks Jet! It was actually really fun except for those few hours at the first place we parked, where I was a bit of a nervous wreck :)

    Great to meet you too Aleks! Kind of you to still think Fozzie is cute, even after witnessing his leash behavior :)

    Kristine, I think I need to start standing up for the sensible plan a bit more! But my old man is a bit of a hurricane himself once he gets an idea...good luck overpowering him. I imagine when we get another hurricane, we'll be right out there again :)

  5. What an adventure! I always envy people who are brave enough to just pick up and do whatever they want to.

  6. p.s. I'm passing on the my seven post challenge to your blog!

  7. I'm glad you had a fun and safe camping trip.

    My co-workers who didn't know I was at BlogPaws this week assumed I was camping. They know that in the 25 years since I began camping, I've never gone when it didn't rain.

    I love the sound of rain on the roof and feeling safe and snuggy in the weather but out of it at the same time. I think Florian had a good idea.

  8. BDM, not sure if "brave" is the word for it--but thanks :)

    Hey Jen--that one sounds like fun. I'll look forward to digging in to it!

    Pamela, it really was a nice time. The van is cozy and there's something comforting and fun about listening to and watching Nature in all her glory. I was really worried about the frogs but I'm glad at least there were so many of them :)

  9. Ha ha ha! Well, we live in Tornado Alley, so we tend to camp in the basement during storms! :P I'm glad all's well that ends well!

  10. Wow, what a story! Glad it turned out so well!

  11. Great photos! Great story!

  12. Glad to see you made it through okay!


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