Lemmon Lightning and Hail=FUN
Had a heck of an adventure today on Lemmon. Got a late start and got on the trail at 2pm. Rode up Bigelow, past the lookout, then down Bear Wallow Rd. and timed it just perfectly. We ran into Krein and Azepicriderandracer(Scott and Chad) just as they came out of "Secret" trail. We would have never seen it if not for them being there.
So me and Sharon went down "Secret" and also Bear Wallow to the start of Sunset, and then heard some thunder, so decided to head back via Bear Wallow Road. We did not make it.
The lightning caught us,and the rain, and as we went past the lookout, the towers were hit by lightning several times. I mean, it was right the hell on top of us. Another rider had caught us as we climbed toward the towers, and he also had some wide eyes, and he decided to go back down the road to his car. We dove down the trail to the left of the towers and back down Bigelow. All the way down was a torrent of rain, and hail about the size of a pinky nail.
Bigelow was an absolute river. It was wild as hell. Huge raindrops, and pretty big hail, and lightning everywhere. And the trail is like riding down a creek bed. We hit the truck and I had to put the rack on, and I should not have taken off my helmet, as the hail was nailing me in the noggin. We were absolutely drenched to the core. Sitting in the truck, I see a bolt hit about a hundred yards away. Kaboom!! Best part was when Sharon turned and looked at me and said "Holy s@#T that was fun!!"
Victim of Saddle Rage
I like how 2pm is a late start. Sounds perfect if not a little early. Maybe this explains why I am always alone on the trails up there. There's just something great about riding around sunset, just as long as the afternoon lightening doesn't get you. Terrifying really, but always fun in memory. Must be the altitude
" the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." C&H
Was wondering if the storm was big enough that it hit you guys too. I was descending Green Mtn when it funneled down Bear Canyon. I didn't know clouds could hold so much water, and the lightning was wild and right on top of me too. Way too many 'flash-bang' moments.
I had a long ways to go down Green, and by the time I got near the campground it wasn't just the trail that was flooding -- every piece of ground was sheeting an inch or two of water. It was something to see.
I hung out under the bathroom's roof for a good 45 minutes as it continued to hammer. Then I rode Bugs and Molino with hero dirt.
Lightning hitting the towers! That sounds crazy. I don't think I would have gone anywhere near the towers, though at least they are good lightning rods, I guess. Good to see the Behemoth couple out there...
It's always nice to see a good t-storm in the desert. And you guys were riding in one, even after trying to outrun it, definitely sounds like a lot of fun. It's great to read about it. Looks like there's more t-storms in this week's forecast all over the state!
Tracey and I got a big helping of Lemmon Meringue well ahead of the show. We were
sitting in the parents living room at the bottom of the mountains, looking up at the torrent
and thinking about the mad scramble that the "music on the mountain" cluster-flock must
have been. Yesterday was a "no fee" day and the mountain was packed with tourists.
I was not liking the fact that we were CLIMBING toward the towers trying to get to Bigelow. As you said, there were lots of Flash/Bang moments. One of them hit in some trees just down the hill from us, right before we got to the towers. At least the towers were much higher than us, and seemed to be attracting the hits to them. I was almost more worried when we were away from them, even though it was scary as hell to hear the strikes hit so close.
Originally Posted by Krein
Bigelow was nuts!! It was literally like riding down a creek bed. Hard to pick a line or see an angled root or rock. You just had to let it roll. Big hail was bouncing off us. The whole scene was very surreal. We could do nothing but laugh a psychotic laugh as we loaded our gear and stripped our totally soaked gear off, while lightning cracked all around. We got in the Element, and one hit not even a hundred yards away. Totally crazy!!
I've ridden through a storm or two, especially in Colorado, but I think this one was putting out the most water I've ever seen. Apparently there is a rain gauge on Green Mtn and it registered almost 2.5 inches of rain in a half hour!
I can't believe how good the traction was, even with sheeting water everywhere. I got pea size hail, increasing to quarter size just as I made the last dash across the (now feet deep) creek and to the bathroom.
Exciting stuff. I woke up this morning running through it in my head, wondering if it was real.
What's the Meringue route?
Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
I had no choice but to take Bugs due to the mad rush of people coming down the mountain, and the water on the road, and the high amount of alcohol consumed up there.
It was a good thing to be forced into. My senses were still heightened from the Greenie descent, and the riding was terrific. I got goosebumps when I crested the scar and got a view of the black anvil that was the storm.
Yes indeed, that was pretty freaking intense!!
Originally Posted by Krein
About the closest thing to that was when I was a SAR aircrewman, on H-3 helicopters in the Coast Guard. I was stationed in Tampa Bay when Hurricane Andrew hit, and we launched to go out to a vessel taking on water. It was dark, blowing over 60mph with torrential rain blowing sideways, and lightning everywhere. As it got light, we could see waterspouts crossing the ocean. On the return inland, buildings were roofless, and even a hundred yards from our hangar, a tornado had ripped out a big palm tree and flew it away while our ground crew watched.
At least in the helo, there was a sense of safety and security, even if it was just in your mind.
On a bike in a lightning storm, you kind of feel like a gunfighter that staggered into the street with a hangover for a gunfight, only to realize you're naked. Ooops!! Feet don't fail me now!!