I remember one trip to Great Smokey Mountain National Park. The weather did not cooperate. A fog laid heavy on each summit we reached. As a tour leader, you need to make the best of things when Mother Nature doesn't open herself up. I guided my group along the trails, embraced the hidden landscape before us, and kept the group together in a tight formation as if they were a precious cloud making it's way through the haze and obscurity. I bellowed playful howls from my belly, and made the group chuckle at my attempts to summon the spirit of the forest. Spirit of the forest? Yes, because one must conjure up whatever might work to keep the group from sulking with the weather.
When we finally arrived back at our campground for the night, Mother of Rain decided to slap us in the face. We had all been good little minions in her army of outdoor enthusiasts, never grumbling as we hiked along damp trails and took pictures of foggy mountaintops. No, we keep a optimistic groove in our step and waited for the weather to turn in our favor. No chance. Down came the rain. Pouring. Dumping. Water falling into every bowl and around every bend before us. Not the best weather for camping. No fires would be burned and no marshmallows roasted. The group sulked. They grimaced. They were on the verge of mutiny.
I looked behind my drivers seat of the Ford Econoline, scanned the eyes of each member of the group, and decided what had to be done. I turned back around, opened my door, and stepped out of the van one foot after the other into the pouring rain. I went to the back of the van, climbed the ladder in my soaking flip-flops and got up onto the roof.
Then I danced.
I rain danced.
It was raining and I danced.
I slipped once in my flip-flops, but then went barefoot, and kept on dancing.
I danced until everyone came out of the van.
They thought I was crazy as they laughed at my dancing,
but they were out of the van, and they were laughing...
It was a good night...