Holy Hail

Atypical for me, I woke up early to take a long hike Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, it was too rainy and chilly to head out to the mountains, so I stayed inside to do some work. After a productive but slow morning, I was going stir-crazy and needed to be outdoors. I mean it’s Wyoming with snow-capped mountains and moose and pronghorn(!!).

A pronghorn in Pinedale, Wyoming.

I decided to go shoot my bow. After pulling out the case, I looked outside. The sky wasn’t blue anymore.

The dark cloud on the right was about to pass over and let go of all it held.

God said, “Enjoy the show.”

The sky opened up to unleash hail, all without blowing onto my porch. 

The last hail storm I saw was in 2014, so I was pumped. It was so. dang. cool. seeing chunks of ice tumble out of fluff balls in the sky.

Hail and rain kept falling from the sky all at once for about 20 minutes.

And the storm blew over in about 20 minutes, as all storms do.  The next day, I slept in until it was bright blue outside. Gary Gearhart decided to hike with me to the meadow to make sure the trail was good for the upcoming session.

Gary Gearhart, an instructor at AWLS, forages the clearing of this path. 

What we didn’t know was that God planned an encore.

The ol’ “calm before the storm” shot, featuring a slope of a Gros Ventre mountain littered with mule’s ear and some burned trees from last year’s fire.

After a rumble of thunder, Gary looked at the sky and simply said, “We’re gonna get wet.”


See that dark mass in the upper-right corner that’s casting deep, dark shadows on the trees? That held the storm.

And that we did. Pea-sized chunks of hail and rain pounded our bodies and the Earth as we hiked as fast as we could down the flooded trail. It was like tromping down a muddy stream, and it was a miracle I only slipped once.

Our cabins and surrounding areas had accumulated quite a bit of the stuff.

Upon arriving at the cabins, we noticed hail accumulation piles.
There were also piles of hail all throughout campus, including right in front of the staff supply cabin.

We just fixed our eyes on the blue sky ahead. There was no need to worry about the mud and rocks stuck inside my Keens or how soaked my pants were. The storm would pass, as they all do.

Sometimes they just feel longer than the sunny days because we didn’t appreciate the good times when they’re here.


The blue before and after were just as wonderful.

The forecast looks bright this week. Well, it always looks bright. You just have to be pointed in the right direction.