Ike made getting home a bit difficult

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

I’m sure most of us will remember where we were when hurricane force winds ripped through the midwest, knocking out power for hundreds of thousands, just in our little neck of the woods.

In fact, I was in the woods when the winds hit.

I gave in to what has become a regular weekend urge, and went for a hike Sunday morning. I laced up my now well worn boots, tossed the backpack in the truck and made for Clifty Falls State Park.

It was quite windy at that point, and I knew the remnants of Hurricane Ike probably would drop some rain, and might keep the wind velocity up.

I really didn’t think it would have the impact that it did as I went south on the 4.5-mile trail.

When I hit the creek bed at the end of the trail, I relaxed on my favorite rock, and wolfed down an energy bar. And then the trees started cracking — one big crack and a crash off to the left, and another crack and crash to the right.

I hauled out of that canyon and trail as quickly as I could — but there were a few obstacles in my path that weren’t there when I made my first pass on the trail. I worked around, over and even through about a dozen trees.

I made it back to my truck unharmed, no bumps or bruises, no scratches.

Getting home would prove to be quite a feat, as I found myself locked into the north end of the park, and then unable to cross the Ohio River at the Madison-Milton Bridge.

I hunkered down with about a half dozen strangers in a motel lobby while the worst of the winds rattled the truck and my nerves.

I did, finally, make it home, via Vevay, Indiana. Power was restored before night time at our house. We lost just one piece of siding. We were lucky.

Some folks will remain without power for several days. Some suffered pretty major property damage.

The families of electric company employees might not see much of their loved ones as those crews work around the clock to restore power.

But a big thank you to everyone — law enforcement, fire departments, city and county governments, and utility companies who have worked to clear roads and get the power back on.

And a special thank you to the park staff who unlocked the north gate.