When I was 14 years old, I went on a backpacking trip in Colorado with my church youth group {Wilderness Trek}. Our goal for the week was to summit 14,036′ Mt. Sherman. This particular year there was a significant amount of snow on the ground and most of the trip was a difficult slog through deep snow.

I have many memories from this trip including a fake bear attack on the girls tent during the night and hiking in circles because our guides wanted us to have the experience of a long hike even though the snow was too deep to get very far up the mountain.

One night we were camped in a valley {I believe our high camp} and we were awakened by a storm. I remember laying on the ground in my sleeping bag and being terrified because the lightning was so bright it was like day and the thunder was bouncing off the mountains around us and shaking the very ground we were sleeping on. The wind was whipping our tent and the two other girls on the trip and I were all awake and pretty scared. The storm eventually passed and I remember thinking that this was the loudest thunder I had ever experienced.

Left to Right: Josh Pulley, Burt Boyce, Martin McLeod, Brandon McLeod, 
Tabitha Hoofman Pugh, Kristalynne Godwin Gray, Douglas Harp, Cheree Voyles Moore, 
Cameron Holifield, John McLeod, Luke Harrison, Jeremy Richards

Fast forward 16 years and I now live in a valley. When we get storms the thunder bounces off the mountains and shakes our house. It is unreal how loud it gets. I lay in bed and count the seconds between the lightning and the boom of the thunder and it can be a 20 second delay and the thunder still rattles the house. It is very unnerving. The first time it happened I just figured it was a particularly bad storm. Now I know that almost every storm that passes through northeast Alabama has the same effect. At least now I have walls around me for protection and not just a flimsy nylon tent!

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