DW and I borrowed my dad's boat WAY back when we were just dating in college. I had an old Coleman A-frame tent, and a cooler. So we decided to make a weekend getaway at Lake Livingston, TX. It was one of our first trips out together as a couple; could've been our first, I don't remember.
We got to the park Friday morning and made camp. We decided to go ahead and launch the boat for a picnic lunch out on "Pine Island" (I don't know if the island actually has a name, but that's what we call this particular tiny island). I have camped on that lake and picnicked on that island since before I can remember. Most of my earliest camping memories are on that lake in our old boat and our Citation travel trailer.
So we motor out to the island and I beach the boat on the leeward side. We get out, swim around a bit, enjoy our picnic dinner. So it's starting to get a little darker, so we decide to go ahead back to the ramp and put the boat up and get back to camp for the day. We putt around the island, and I look around the other side of the lake as we make our way out from behind the pines and see the biggest, baddest thunderstorm I've seen in YEARS just off the other shore of the lake.
DW is driving the boat, and I tell her "look, if you don't want to get wet, you might want to go a little faster". She pushes the throttle down some more and we speed up trying to beat the storm. I turn around and see a solid wall of rain coming at us fast! I yell to her, "Bury it! We gotta go!" So she pushes the throttle down as far as it will go. The boat is running flat out across the lake toward the ramp. Then the rain hits. I knew we were going to get wet as soon as I saw that cloud at the island, so no big surprise, but it was coming down in buckets. She literally throws me off at the dock, I sprint up to the truck and get the trailer in the water. Little did I know I had the trailer a little too far in the water, but not like it mattered anyway, there were 4 ft waves coming into the boat ramp area. She pulls the boat up onto the trailer just as one of those waves comes up. The wave picked the boat up and dropped it back down right on the trailer. It actually broke the bow guide off the front of the trailer and put a huge gash in the fiberglass up front. The wave just about knocked me off the trailer where I was trying to attach the winch strap. So there in the rain, I had to open the back of the Surburban up and try to Macgyver the guide back on so we could tow the boat out.
We finally get the boat on the trailer and out of the water, and we're DRENCHED. The boat was FULL of water, a couple of inches over our feet in the bottom of the boat. No way the bilge pump was keeping up with that rain!
We got back to camp only to discover our tent and most of our stuff in a huge puddle (again, no big surprise). So freezing and wet, we folded all the seats down in the truck (1988 GMC Suburban, lots of space to stretch out) to take shelter. We cuddled in the truck and played card games for hours until the storm passed.
We decided to take all our stuff to town to try to find a laundromat where we could dry it. We found one, but it was about to close. We convinced the lady to let us in; we looked pretty sad, so it didn't take much.
Finally got back to camp and got everything situated. We did end up staying the night, but I can tell you if that were to happen today, we'd be heading home long before bed time; you got to know when to fold 'em.
That's pretty much how our camping relationship began. Since then, and that was what ... 15, 16 years ago now? We have had rain on AT LEAST 95% of our camping trips. We learned a lot that day; about ourselves, about our relationship, about respecting nature and the weather, and about how to deal with bad situations. And as such, we have not repeated such a horrific experience. Every now and again, we tell each other that story as a reminder of what can and will happen.
2014 Jay Flight 28 BHBE
2015 RAM 2500 6.4L HEMI, Tradesman 4x4, 3.73
Blue Ox SwayPro (BXW 1503)
Upgraded from an REI internal frame backpack and a Eureka 1/2 dome tent!