Monday, June 28, 2010

A blustery evening

It started out as a pleasant evening with our good friends, the Turners, enjoying some wine and snacks at a Grafton, IL, winery on the bluffs overlooking the town and the Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers. The rivers are high from all the rain lately so we had to take a few backroad detours to get around some flooding on the way there, but that just added to the fun. We even enjoyed watching a thunderstorm roll down the river valley and pass in front of us - quite a sight!

We found out that this was a line of large thunderstorms with strong winds and a lot of rain and lightning when it quickly came over the hill and descended onto our little perch! First the rain and wind chased us off the large deck and into the first room (still part of the porch). When the wrought-iron furniture started to move - quickly - across the outside deck and the rain started to hammer against our windows, we moved further inside. And there we sat for the next 2 hours waiting for the storm to pass while shuddering with each lightning flash and watching each other’s expressions with every 60+ mph wind gust.

When it was finally safe enough to run for the car we tried to follow the detour road back out only to find it was now a river flowing down the bluff! A U-turn and a different route got us back on the main river road but trapped between two flooded areas. No worries - the Wild Goose bar and grill was right there and open so we opted for a late dinner in a room that was literally right above the swollen Mississippi. The local patrons gave us directions for a route out of town on some very narrow roads that seemed to go almost straight up the bluffs. Surprisingly, the roads and turns were quite well marked, and eventually we found our way to another highway that led us home. All in all, quite a long and adventuresome night! Glad we could share it with good friends.

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