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Link to a lightning page If I wasn't a Christian before, I'm a prayin' man now for sure.

I was on my way to the Four-Corners Rally in late August of 1997. It had been a gorgeous, blue-skies day, about 250 miles so far across southern Utah, including Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks. I had come out of the red sandstone country and was into that sunblasted, water-cut area along Utah Highway 95 just east of Natural Bridges National Monument. The highway runs across high, rolling mesquite desert there, and there's not much to look at.

By 2pm there were afternoon thunderstorms abuilding, as is common in that country. Overhead was a layer of grey clouds, but so far no rain, or lightning, or thunder. I could even see out from under it in all directions.

Every thunderstorm starts with a first crack though, and that storm chose me to introduce itself to. CRACK!!! Bad ol' Mr. Lightning!
Too bad there's not some way to demonstrate how loud it was, and how dazzling. I was suddenly aware that there had been a noise so loud it was more a presence than a sound, and a light so brilliant that it left me dazzled, with big blue circles floating in front of my eyes. The bike had faltered, I knew, and my right arm was numb to the shoulder. But I was still alive for the moment. That being the case I said "God, that was close!" not being quite sure if I was swearing or talking to Him. But since I was still breathing, and not laying in the ditch with my boots smoking I figured it must have missed me - that time anyway. Maybe it struck one of the 4' steel posts along the road that hold the reflectors.

But where there's one, there's very often another soon to follow, and I didn't want to be around for the second shot. Unfortunately though, the surrounding countryside was so barren that I was gonna be the highest thing around for a while. So I figured the best thing to do was keep that "while" as short as possible by cranking on out of there. Which I did, at 100 mph until a cop stopped me eight or ten miles down the road. I told him my story, and you know, he believed me and didn't write me up, just told me to take notice that I was out from under the cloud and could slow down now.

Anyhow, I rode on in to Blanding and stopped for gas. I still wasn't sure that it had been a clean miss, so I checked the scooter over, but found no damage. Another guy rolled in from the north and I had to tell him my tale. He was skeptical, but being a courteous sort, kept his counsel. We agreed to ride on together. As we rolled out I checked my mirror to make sure he was there - and took a deep breath at what I finally noticed. See, at 100 miles an hour I wasn't spending much time looking at my mirrors, and I hadn't examined them at the gas station either. But once I looked at it I could see that the silver backing on the glass had been blasted off the top outside corner, an area about the size of the last joint of my thumb. I stood on the pegs and looked at the top. The chrome had been turned blue, and the metal was no longer smooth. That bolt had struck the mirror right over my hand! Fortunately, the rubber grips and footpegs had insulated me enough to keep it from frying me completely.

I got home without further encounters with bad ol' Mr. Electricity and immediately took the mirror off and had a little pedestal made for it. It's sitting beside me now on a bookshelf by the computer, a reminder of the closest that Mother Nature has come to killing me.

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