Ledges State Park 2010

This was our first trip to Ledges State Park.  We tried camping here three or four years ago, but the state did not have reserveable sites at that time, and trying to get here on a Friday night before everyone else was nearly impossible.  This year, we had an SCA reenacting event in Des Moines and we thought it would be nice to camp here for the weekend.

Although most of our time was spent on site in Des Moines, we had planned to take a little time on Sunday to do some hiking.  Well, mother nature changed our plans in the wee early morning hours.  Lisa was awakened by the park ranger who was going through camp warning everyone of the severe thunderstorm warning we were now under.  You know the warning is serious when the ranger comes around at 1:30 - 2 am to warn everyone.  Apparently the National Weather Service was tracking a storm that had the potential of up to quarter size hail and high winds.  They were not too far off.  Lisa figured we had about dime size hail, but I still do not know what the winds had reached.  So, with that, we were unable to hike any trails because of the storm and the two inches of rain that fell.  Below are the pictures of what we woke to the next morning.  Oh, and I forgot to mention, that sometime around 3 or 4 am, the park lost power, and as of this time, 11:30 am, power still had not been restored.

Thankfully, though there was some minor tree damage, no one was hurt and no property damaged.  I would also like to thank the Park Rangers for their efforts in warning everyone and trying to keep us all safe.

(Click on Images for Larger Picture)

Here are some pictures or our site.  While we had mostly small deadfall on the ground in the morning, the most impressive damage was to a limb in the tree above our site.  Thankfully it got caught up in the tree above before it fell too far.

(Click on Images for Larger Picture)

Here are some pictures from the rest of the campground.  Again, you can see a lot of little branches that fell during the storm, but you can also see quite a bit of standing water.  Of course, there is the impressive limb that broke, but did not fall from the tree in the last picture.  I believe there was someone in a trailer camped there, but they were gone this morning.  Many of the tent campers headed out just before the storm hit, but most of the trailer and RV campers stayed.

I will have to say, in all the years of camping, this was the second worse storm I camped through.  The worst storm was the last  year we were at Brushy Creek State Park.  That year we go quarter size hail and a tornado.  Those pictures are on the Brushy Creek 2004 camping photo album.  Even though there is the potential for these kinds of things to happen, I would encourage people not to let this deter you from camping and traveling.  Not only is it a wonderful activity to partake in, but your travels can be much more cost effective, and far more memorable.