We walked to the dining hall across campus tonight, expecting to spend an hour watching the Kings-Devils hockey game, and come back in time to claim the Athletes’ Lounge to watch the Thunder-Spurs game. That’s our usual plan, at least. But tonight, Mother Nature had something else in mind for us.
A few minutes after we sat down, the guys set to changing the channel on the middle flat-screen TV in the great room to the hockey game. As they fiddled with it for a while, trying to scroll to the right channel, the screen went black, and we laughed, joking that they broke it. They moved to each subsequent TV, and the result was the same. With dark clouds rolling in, we figured the normal afternoon shower was coming, and would be out of the Springs shortly. But a few minutes later, ping-pong-sized hail rained on us. We all jumped up to run to the windows and whipped out our phones to take pictures.
I’ve been in a handful of hailstorms, but nothing’s lasted as long as this. Nearly half an hour later, the hail was still coming down, even larger. The golf ball-sized chunks clinked off the patio, the roof, the grass, and bounced high into the air. We all stared across the way at the basketball gym, watching as the guys trying out for the U-18 USA Basketball team darted across the path to the dining hall’s refuge. We weren’t going anywhere fast, and stocked up on ice cream and cookies to tide us over.
The hall got crowded fast, so right before it closed at 8:30, a few of us made a dash for it, and got soaking wet in the process. The storm was relentless, and we eventually discovered, thanks to the Weather Channel, it was the worst hail storm the state’s seen in years. And we were right in the middle of it. Our main concern was getting the DirecTV back in time for the basketball game, and just seconds before halftime ended, we got a signal, and were able to enjoy our nightly intern ritual!