When I leapt out of bed at six this morning, I had two plans: first, to take the good DSLR camera outside for some colorful sunrise photos; second, to ride the motorcycle to the air museum for my weekly guided tours. I was stymied by the weather: the only color seeping through the overcast was gray and the bathroom radio announced a 100% probability of rain. No photos, no motorcycle. Well, I still had my museum tours to look forward to.
Five hours later, halfway through my walking tour of WWII aircraft, the industrial evaporative coolers outside the hangar kicked on. They were unusually loud. In fact they were roaring, and I had to turn up the volume on my amplifier to be heard over the din. It didn’t occur to me the noise was rain beating on the hangar roof until I tried to lead my group of visitors to the next hangar on the tour. And why? Because in three years volunteering at the museum, I’d never heard that noise before.
I braved the downpour to get to the next hangar and got thoroughly soaked in the process. Two visitors ran with me but the other eight stayed behind and I don’t blame them. By the time I finished up in the next hangar the torrent was less biblical, so, frustrated because I hadn’t been able to take any photos earlier in the morning, I decided to document this rare Tucson rainstorm.
In the first photo, if you look behind where I’m standing you’ll see running water. That water is about six feet deep, and it’s running hard. The second photo is of the same instant river, taken from a small foot bridge between the hangars. Going back to the first photo: it may not be immediately obvious, but my pants are soaked from my shoes up to about mid-thigh, and the little voice amplifier hanging from my neck is dead, shorted out by water that seeped into it during my earlier dash between the hangars.
On my drive home I took another photo, this one of the normally dry wash just down the hill from our subdivision. The water you see running over the road is more than three feet deep, and local drivers are wisely sitting it out. Fortunately for Donna and I, we don’t have to cross this low spot driving to and from our home, but there are pockets of homes in our part of town that become temporarily cut off during these rare heavy rains.
Well, there … I’ve gone and written a blog post about the damn weather. Why anyone reads this stuff is beyond me. So what else is there to write about?
Well, for one thing, this was my first museum tour in over a month. It felt good to get back in the saddle. I even prepped for it, skipping TV last night to study my aircraft talking points. I went in early this morning to turn the team leader files over to my replacement and start getting him up to speed; I hope that in a month or so he’ll have completely taken over and I can return to being a regular docent.
I have book reviews to write, so I’ll put this post to bed now. If you live in a regular part of the world, one where rain is a regular occurrence, I hope you’ll forgive me for having so much fun with it. I can’t help it. No one from southern Arizona can. It’s a big deal to us.
© 2014, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.