John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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And Then, A Deluge Was Let Loose Upon Washington...

There's something you need to know about Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts: it is an open-air theater. In northern Virginia. That means that every show you will ever attend there, will be hot as hell. Tonight, that was more true than ever, as temperatures went into three digits, breaking an 80-year heat record.

To the company's credit, it was a very good production of Pirates of Penzance. "Hail Poetry," the simultaneously sublimely beautiful yet incredibly silly capstone moment of the first act, nearly brought me to tears. The bobbies were brilliant, especially the Chief Constable, who kept busting out the Groucho Marx dances and stopped in the middle of "A Policeman's Lot Is Not a Happy One" to berate the guy at the kettle drum in the orchestra for overdoing it. In short, it was a great show.

And hot as hell.

And, starting somewhere around Frederick and Mabel's heartfelt (and dull, sorry G&S) duet "Oh Leave Me Not to Pine," increasingly punctuated by lightning and thunder in the distance.

By the time the curtain calls came and went and the house lights were up, lightning was illuminating the sky brighter than streetlights were illuminating the ground and every banner was beating a staccato raspberry in the crazy wind. The temperature dropped from upper 90s to lower 70s in approximately three minutes, all the lights at Wolf Trap (and most of Vienna) went out... and the rain came.

It hit laurie_robey and me halfway between the theater and the car, blinding us as we went. Oh, our path was well illuminated, thanks to the nonstop cascades of lightning across the sky, but the wind was kicking up whirlwinds of dust and driving hard rain into our eyes. We got to our car and jumped in, laughing and soaked to the bone, and gradually made our way out of the park.

On the roads, we found debris. Then we found fallen trees. Then we found fallen powerlines that just followed Route 7 west for a good 1/4 mile or longer. All of Colvin Run and Reston were in darkness, as was eastern Herndon. Luckily for us, western Herndon still had power, presumably because we were on a different feeder line than the obliterated lines along Rt 7.

As we neared home, my mom called. She, Cathy, and Lena were still at Wolf Trap. (And as of this writing, they're presumably still there now.) Sometime after we got out, the road from Wolf Trap became completely blocked by fallen trees, and the police turned everyone right around and herded them back into the theater for shelter. Mom hadn't even made it to the car before being sent back. She safe and sheltered for the time being, but it's gonna be a long night of sitting in the theater it seems.

At least it isn't hot any more.

So! Memorable night! And now, to toss together what I want to take up to BroNYCon at Oh-Dark-Thirty in the morning. I've heard rumors that more storms are headed our way and expected to hit just about the time I need to go to the airport. @Whee! If nothing else, life is always an adventure.

G'nite, world, and have an awesome tomorrow!

-The Gneech
Tags: moments
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