I remember getting out of the car to take a picture at an overlook which I assume was somewhere along Newfound Gap Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The billowing clouds among the mountain ridges were striking. Then, quite quickly, those clouds became thicker and unified, filling my view with gray. I was starting to feel a mist as I turned back toward the car, where my wife and 20-month-old son were waiting. Soon I found myself sprinting because I was in a full-fledged downpour and getting soaked. It happened that quickly.
We had recently visited my mother- and father-in-law as they attended a convention in Tampa. Then my crew was staying at the Jellystone Park in Cherokee, North Carolina, with a Pack ’n Play in the tent, during a visit to the Smokies on the way home. From a distance, Yogi Bear (a costumed Jellystone employee) was my son’s greatest yearning, but up close Yogi was absolutely terrifying.