I have quite a story to tell, although Kevin Burdick lived it, I will tell it because I was there. This story is true, by the way…
I spent two days driving up to the Grand Canyon with my good friends Kevin Burdick and Carlos Martín. Carlos is from New Jersey and had never seen the Grand Canyon. Kevin and I grew up near the canyon, so we took it upon ourselves to introduce him to the natural wonder. I wanted to show him Shoshone Point, since it is one of my favorite places to experience the canyon.
We arrived a few hours before sundown and went dirrectly to the canyon’s edge. A little hike was required to get there. So, we gathered our cameras and started the hike. Along the way we alternated using Kevin as our subject and photographing the landscape. When we finaly made our way out onto the point, a small storm had moved in, the sun was long since burried behind the clouds, it turned cold and began to snow (in May). But, Carlos and I perserviered with our photographs and Kevin, who was no longer the subject of our images was standing just to my right shivering off the cold. A slight rolling of thunder in the distance foreshadowed the moment to come, but we all stood on the edge of the percipise shivering and photographing.
(This next shot is Carlos Martín, Carlos is a talented Architectural photographer.)
Carlos was adjusting his tripod, I stood behind him with my camera held to my chest looking out into the canyon when I heard the unmistakable sound of electricity pulsing (just like what you might expect in Dr. Frankenstien’s laboritory) and a flash of light just to my right, but the light did not come from the sky and it ddi not come from a mile away.
“Guys,” Kevin said hesitently, “I’ve been struck by lightning.”
That’s right. Struck by Lightning!
(This next photo is my rendition of Kevin holding lightning in his hands.)
Kevin then described in full detail how the energy had, in a mere moment, gone through his head, down his arm (burning his skin below his watch) and shot out of his hand to the ground. This was the flash of light I saw to my right below the level of my eye. He felt his muscles clinch and the energy flow through him, but never lost balance or consciousness.
We rushed to him to make sure he was ok and then we decided it would be a good idea to get off the cliff. Carlos later said he was a bit disappointed that we left. “I had just gotten my tripod set, and then we’re leaving? Technically, that was the least likely place lightning would strike,” he complained.
After Kevin took the Lightning on the chin and lived through it, we spent another few minutes photographing the fog in the canyon (the first shot in this post) and then hiked back to the car. Later that night, we had a nice steak dinner. Kevin’s still fine!
I remember hiking back to the car, turning to Kevin and saying, “sorry you were struck by lightning Kevin…”
There’s something you don’t get to say every day.