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Within seconds of the thunder, the rain came in buckets. And boy did it come. We barely had time to put our hiking boots back on and get back under the canopy of the trees before the downpour came.  

We instantly dismissed the idea of getting to the waterfall and started the hike back. Even though we were under the trees, we were completely drenched within seconds. Getting back through the brush was no fun.  I had to keep encouraging my youngest son to keep going, all along knowing that the steep part of the trail was ahead.  It was hard enough to hike along in dry weather, let alone a slippery wet trail.  The downpour kept coming along with the thunder.  This was the worst downpour and thunderstorm any of us have ever been caught in. 

As we reached the section of the trail that was steepest, my stomach was doing flip flops. If it had been just myself and my husband, it wouldn’t have worried me as much.  But my boys were here and I was very scared.  I had to keep a calm face for them.  My husband took the lead and he made sure my oldest son, who was behind him, was ok. I took charge of my youngest. Even in single-file, I held his hand tight and I just kept telling myself that it was one step at a time. The trail was so slippery and steep. But each step was one step closer to the end. 

 I knew up ahead that we would have to cross the tributary again. With as much rain that had come down and was still coming, I was worried we were going to really have trouble crossing it.  I kept telling myself not to worry about that for now, only to focus on the task at hand, which was getting off the steep cliff.  

After what seemed like forever, we finally arrived at the tributary. The water had risen significantly and was deeper and swifter. This was the very definition of flash flooding.  Once we got across this,  I knew the rest of the way was going be easy.  Since our hiking boots were completely soaked anyway, we didn’t need to worry about where we stepped as long as it was a safe step.  My husband went first, figuring out exactly where to step and he helped all of us cross safely.  Once I was across, I  could finally breathe again. 

 The last mile was fine.  Along the way we didn’t even worry if we were stepping in puddles or not.  We could not get any wetter than we were.  We all started to relax - the danger was over.  Then something funny happened. We noticed soap bubbles coming out of my husband’s shorts and running down his legs. As we kept walking, more and more bubbles were forming. So many bubbles in fact, that he stepped off the trail into the creek we were alongside and washed the bubbles off. We realized that some laundry powder must have accumulated in his shorts pockets during washing and didn’t rinse out.  Combined with the downpour,  it created a foaming pile of bubbles down his leg.  My boys and I were now laughing at this sight.  

On this crazy day where we ended up on a hike with dangerous conditions, had thunder boom out of nowhere over our heads, soaked to the bone by a downpour, and never got to see the waterfall at the end, we found something funny that I will remember forever.  And I am sure that we will continue to talk about that hike for some time to come.  Now I carry a poncho in each backpack to at least keep the backpacks dry.  It took quite a while to dry out all the contents of our backpacks that day.  Thank goodness we had a few 30-gallon garbage bags stashed away in the car for us to sit on for the drive back to the cabin that day. This is one hike that we will always remember.

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