To Sudbury

That was a ridiculous night. I’ve camped in thunderstorms numerous times this trip, but that was by far the worst. The rain was pelting my tent and the thunder and lightning sometimes sounded like they were right over my head. I could hear the storm moving across the sky and each time it sounded like it was moving away, another storm would approach.
I managed to get to sleep but woke up in the middle of the night. I listened to the storm for a while and noticed that there was a new sound accompanying the rain. The new sound was the sound of rain drops hitting a puddle. Uh oh. I tried to think of the area I was camped in – how far away was the lake? Was my tent set up in a depression in the ground? Was there a drier place I could move to? I grabbed my headlamp and had a look outside. Without opening the fly, if I tilt my head at the right angle I can just see the ground outside 3 sides of my tent. It wasn’t looking good. The rain was coming down so hard and so fast that the ground was simply not able to absorb it quickly enough, so I was essentially camped in a shallow puddle. This was not an ideal situation.
I had a look around the inside of my tent and found no water. There was a bit of dampness under my Thermarest but that was only because all of my weight was on it. It could have been worse. My tent has about 6 inches of solid, mostly waterproof material up each side before the mesh starts, so I figured it could withstand another few hours of rain before I had to bug out. Right? That’s assuming that I’m not camped in a depression and that the lake level doesn’t rise and that the rain keeps a steady pace and does not increase. It was a lot of ifs.
The sound of the rain lessened slightly so I grabbed my rain jacket and headlamp and went to inspect the situation outside. Fortunately, it looked better. The ground had had a chance to catch up to the heavy rainfall and had absorbed much more water, so I was no longer in a puddle.
Still, I could not get back to sleep so I had a snack (because I’m always hungry) and read a book. After a couple of hours I went back to sleep, only to wake up to the sound of my alarm and the sound of rain hitting my tent, still. While there was no longer thunder and lightning, there was definitely still rain.
I slept for a while longer because I was exhausted, and only had to ride about 60km to Sudbury today. In the end, my tent had faired quite well. Some of the rain had splashed on the ground and ricocheted into my tent, and under my Thermarest was a bit damp, but I was quite happy. Once again I was so glad to have a good quality tent.
Once everything was packed up I set out on highway 17 toward Sudbury. The sky was not looking good, but it was not raining anymore. Thank goodness.
It was a quick ride today, because I did the extra bit to Nairn Centre yesterday, so I arrived in Sudbury quite early. I went to a Tim Horton’s to come up with a plan of attack. I wasn’t keen on the idea of camping in a thunderstorm again, so I wanted to have a motel as a backup plan (there are no hostels in Sudbury). Unfortunately, the motels listed online were quite expensive, as the cheap motels can’t afford websites. I finally just made a decision and went to the campground. As I arrived, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Yay! I unpacked and dried off my tent and some other things (like my towel which had not had a chance to dry yesterday). The sun is still shining now so I feel like I made a good decision.



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