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Sharing a hail storm

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After a day and a half of driving and less than an hour from camp, we drove through a serious hail storm in Colorado Springs, Colo. In a rental. Without purchasing the optional full coverage.

The first chunks of ice hit like bricks, slamming into the car. I was just waiting for one to crash through the windshield. As the storm intensified, the hail came faster, and we headed for a tree next to the road to wait it out. I caught the whole thing on a dashcam (see above).

Later, at the campsite after the storm passed through, we found ping-pong sized hailstones all over the ground.

Luckily, I wasn’t able to find any damage to the vehicle.

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Canyoneering deaths in flash flood

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Strong storms claimed the lives of three members of a canyoneering party at Zion, and four others are missing. Here’s the latest from the National Park Service.

Three Canyoneering Fatalities, Four Others Missing in Zion National Park

Sept. 15, 2015

Rangers at Zion National Park in Utah received a report of a group of seven people canyoneering in Keyhole Canyon shortly before the flooding began Monday, Sept. 14. Their unoccupied vehicles were located on Monday evening and a search began the morning of Tuesday, Sept.15 when it was determined that these individuals had not exited the canyon.

Of the seven individuals involved, three fatalities are confirmed and the remaining four are missing. Names are not being released at this time, pending notification of kin. As the search continues for the missing hikers, high water levels and continued rain showers pose further flash flooding concerns and have hampered searchers’ access to the technical portions of the canyoneering route.

According to the National Park Service, storms arrived between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m Monday and dropped 0.63” in Zion Canyon in one hour. As a result of these local storms, flash flooding occurred in the park including Keyhole Canyon.

Keyhole Canyon is a short, narrow slot canyon located on the east side of Zion National Park. A permit is required for traveling through Keyhole Canyon and individuals must complete several short rappels under 30 feet and swim through several pools of water.

Fire pit

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First fire in our new fire pit. Started with a Coleman striker. (c) J.S. Reinitz 2014.

First fire in our new fire pit. Started with a Coleman striker. (c) J.S. Reinitz 2014.

Today, we christened our new, partially completed fire pit.

With two of the three rows of bricks in place, we decided the circle was finished enough to ignite some backyard fun. This time, we sparked it with a Coleman striker (pictured sitting on the bricks in the photo above) using SOL Tinder-Quik and a whole lot of sort-of-dry leaves (it has been raining a lot lately). The Tinder-Quik took off easily from the sparks.

A few weeks ago, a passing storm deposited a huge tree limb in our yard, narrowly missing the garage and the swing set, so we have a good stock of firewood.

Firewood, courtesy of a recent storm. (c) J.S. Reinitz 2014

Firewood, courtesy of a recent storm. (c) J.S. Reinitz 2014