June 3

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I woke up early enough to extend my room for another night, checked the weather forecast and went back to bed. Over the past few days I have found it amusing and confusing at the same time that our two weather widgets (iPhone and Dashboard), talking to the same provider (Yahoo!), can't deliver the same weather forecast. Good times.

I was told that by the tower hail had accumulated to respectable height and caused some good damage. Once I rolled out of bed for good I looked at the car, now freshly dimpled, expressed happiness it wasn't my car, and headed the usual way. I stopped for lunch at the same diner right at the intersection to the Devils Tower, where I got the BBQ sausage before. There I saw the magnitude of destruction: leaves were pretty much stripped off trees and virtually sandblasted onto the buildings and cars. Some windows were broken by the vertical hail, and the staff was busy cleaning up the piles of hail which was still everywhere, 12 hours after the fact.

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In the park I felt like it was necessary to shoot some prairie dogs. After all, I brought the 400 with me, so I may as well use it on some rodents, very much to everyone's bewilderment. After that this time it was my turn to join a bus load of British tourists at the rest area, power outlet and all, and have a first real peek at yesterday's capture.

With pretty lame light (i.e., clear blue skies) there was nothing to shoot so I just chilled and then went back to the motel to attend the one work meeting of the week - the rehearsal of my WWDC session. I called in and went thru my slides just as I would have if I had been in the room. See, it can be done!

After the meeting I went back and hoped for some clouds at sunset. I didn't get any of these, but I ran into the Larcoms, a couple of freelance photographers / writers, working on an article about the tower. We got talking and I told them about my quest for lightning at the tower and how it wonderfully worked out. They found it amusing and photographed me for possible inclusion in their story. See, dorkdom can make you (potentially) famous.

Sunset was boring without clouds. So I decided to chill and stay for some pictures of the tower with stars in the sky. So I waited, and waited, because here it gets dark really late in the summer. By the time it was dark enough to see the stars, there was pretty much no stars to be seen because clouds have rolled in. I felt just like Hillary Clinton today - you can't always win. It was hilarious, but unlike Hillary, I knew when it was time to quit and went to bed.

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