Riding into the storm

This is a blatant leveraging of the weekly photo challenge theme of half and half as an excuse to publish more photos (and tell a story) from my recent trip to Mongolia — a land of big sky, spectacular clouds and sweeping grasslands.

The horizon draws the eye repeatedly and bisects many of my photos, so I figure these images qualify for the theme.

We mostly had great weather, but on one particular afternoon we found ourselves riding into a storm. (There might have been singing: Riders on the storm… Singing in the rain… Raindrops keep falling on my head…)

Into the storm... Half an hour later we were putting up a tent in a hail storm
Into the storm… Half an hour later we were putting up our tent in a hail storm

There was nothing we could do about the storm, but we had no idea just how ‘exciting’ the next hour was going to be. My knees were tired, and we’d been promised a trip into a nearby town for a shower. Stopping to camp seemed like a good thing to do.

(Mind you, we did look at the broad, flat expanse of steppe, fairly near a dirt road with regular traffic, and question the exact choice of campsite. We tended to prefer campsites with a bit more, ahem, cover… if you know what I mean.)

No sooner had we hobbled the horses and started putting up our tent, than the clouds burst on our heads. Slashing rain. Gale-force wind. Thunder. Lightning. Hail.

We scurried around trying to get the tent fly on, smashing pegs in with rocks. At one point the tent almost twisted in on itself. It did go up eventually, a bit skewed, but good enough to shelter us for the next half hour while the storm ripped itself into pieces.

We were nonetheless already drenched.

This is what happens when you put up tents during hail storms.
This is what happens when you put up tents during hail storms…

After the storm, the sun came out and we got everything dry by hanging it on the tent. I kid you not, this happened —

After the storm...
After the storm…

Meanwhile, we got our much-needed shower and a beer and all was good in the world.

Definitely fun times.

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