Lightning strike

An hour of fishing on the edge of the reservoir and not a single nibble. Boring … yawn. With a roaring boom, Zeus threw a bolt of lightning along the top of the water hitting the hillside just above our heads. Finding myself flattened to the ground, I lifted my face off the rocks and watched the cloud of dirt and rocks dissipate from the hillside roughly 30 feet below the parked car.

I was not the only one who dropped to the ground with hair follicles prickling and bone-deep fear overloading my senses.

My eyebrows felt attached to my hairline. Can lighting flash sideways? I knew it could travel along the ground. I also knew anything metal such as fences or pipes will provide a path. The ground was dry and there were no conduction channels. It wasn’t a streamer – also known as a baby bolt. I could not tell where it originated so it may have been a mere side splash although it looked and felt like a full arrow from the quiver of a grumpy Greek god. The clouds did not look like storm clouds, however the air did have a thick oppressive feel.

We didn’t stick around. We gathered our stuff and headed up the trail to the car fast. My nerves frayed as we came to the strike zone. Fear got the better of me and I froze. Getting my son to a safe place kept my head together and I managed to push through my terror and keep walking. We dumped the fishing gear in the trunk and drove home. I swear my hair felt wiry and stiff for months.