Monday, August 4, 2014

Missed the Birthday Party

Smokey Bear celebrates his birthday every year right here in Transylvania County and I often drive up for the big party.  At the Cradle of Forestry in Pisgah National Forest.  Since this was Smokey's 70th, I decided to drive up to watch the children celebrate.  It is such fun to see the little ones squirting water, making birthday cards, and learning about fire prevention.  And eating cake.  Several sheet cakes are prepared and served to the guests and Smokey himself always makes an appearance.

[Educational side note:  There is a riddle popular with children.
Question:  What is Smokey the Bear's middle name?     Answer:  The
Smokey Bear does NOT have a middle name.  His name is Smokey Bear, not Smokey the Bear.  "The" came into being when a popular song was written about him, but it is not part of his name.]

The weather looked a little "iffy" at best.  But one never knows where the rain will fall in the mountains so I decided to give it a try.  I drove up the mountain and when I got within a mile of the Cradle of Forestry, it started to rain.  And it rained pretty hard.  So I decided not to even drive in to the parking lot, even though the festivities would be continuing indoors.  I would have gotten soaked walking from the parking lot to the building.

Photograph by P Sullivan from BlueRidgeNow

I decided to keep driving up to the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway and see what the storm looked like from there.  It was rather unsettling to look out at the rain not far away from where I stood.

 Rain moving across the mountains

I started back down the mountain, listening to music and enjoying the light rain.  And then the rain became heavier and heavier.  It was so loud I could no longer hear the music.  My windshield wipers were on maximum and could barely keep up with the rain.  Finally I decided to pull over and wait for the storm to abate.  It kept pounding on the car but finally slowed a bit.

The rain followed me (or I followed it) all the way back to Brevard.  Where the streets were dry.  I drove up another mountain to our house to find the sun shining with nary a sign of rain.

Reminded me of one of my favorite cartoons.

 click to enlarge

So I missed Smokey's big party on his 70th birthday.  But I heard from good sources that he doesn't look a day older than 20.


Carolina Linthead said...

My wife would have braved the rain for sheet cake. Happy birthday, Smokey Bear! Rain in the mountains is wildly unpredictable. We have roving showers here, too...heavy rain, then bright sun, then rain. But it's not quite the same as sitting on the Parkway watching it rain in a valley or on the next mountain over. Sigh...I miss it so. Thank you for this wonderful story!

Arkansas Patti said...

Yikes, I am older than Smokey?? How can that be.
I probably would have done what you did to see the rain. However that downpour sounded a bit scary. Glad you made it safely.

troutbirder said...

A true hero of my youth. Even though I'm a couple of years older than he is...:)

Busy Bee Suz said...

The cartoon is very cute. I too thought his name was Smokey THE Bear; I've learned something today!
We had over 6" of rain on Monday; a record for Naples.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like quite a downpour. Glad you pulled over and let it pass. Really nice pic of the storm.

Cheryl said...

Loved the post.
I have such a vivid imagination I could see the scene clearly.
It can be somewhat scary when the rain is that heavy. You were wise to pull over and wait until it had started to clear.

Happy Birthday Smokey Bear !!!

Vicki Lane said...

Loving the rain this summer -- but it's definitely patchy, We can see it from our front porch, sometimes, raining across the river and never coming our way.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Linthead - You are right. Nothing like storms across the mountains.

Patti - Age is mind over matter. If you don't mind; it don't matter

The Bug said...

Yep, I SO would have braved the rain for cake :)