Monday, April 5, 2010
The picture above is from last night. This was about the coolest dust storm I've ever seen. Way better than the ones I took pictures of last time I was here in 2007.
Unfortunately, these aren't pictures that I took. I was at the dining hall as this great wall of dust was approaching from the south, and among my least favorite rules here at COB Adder, is the one that says you can't bring cameras into the DFAC. I don't care about getting pictures of where I eat, but if I come out of the DFAC, and see a giant wall of dust, with lightning bolts coming out of it, I really would like to have my camera with me.
This desire to get to my camera, actually resulted in my getting to experience the "full effect" of this particular dust storm. When I first saw the wall of dust, it was probably still a mile or two to the south ... moving very rapidly in our direction.
I made the miscalculation that I might be able to beat it back to my CHU. It normally takes us about 15 minutes to walk to chow (I think it's about 3/4 of a mile), so I proceeded to take off running ... sprinting is what I was attempting, but my sprint isn't terribly quick these days.
I got about half way before the dust moved right over me. I went from relatively bright evening type light, to almost pitch black in a matter of about 30 seconds. I couldn't see 5 feet in front of me. And to make it worse, since I was just "sprinting", I was now breathing a little heavily ... which resulted in sucking in a bit more dust than I would have liked.
I eventually made it back to my room, where I spent the next 45 minutes hacking and coughing, trying to catch my breath.
I was actually somewhat fortunate compared to the other guys, who didn't leave chow as quickly as I did ... they got caught in the raining mud down pour. I'm pretty sure the uniforms they were wearing are going to have orange stains for quite some time.
Kevin was the duty forecaster on the swing shift, and by stroke of good luck, always has his little kodak camera in his backpack. He's the one who snapped the picture up top, and the alternate view below. Like I said, I would have loved to have had my camera, but since I didn't, I sure am glad that Kevin had his.
Til next time ...
p.s. about the title of this blog post ... I'm not terrible familiar with stories from the bible, but seeing as how many of the events took place in this region, I can't help but think that a sight such as the one in picture above, might very have given the people of the day the distinct impression that God was just a little bit mad about something. ;-)