While visiting Delicate Arch in Arches National Park for some sunset pictures, a small storm cell rolled in. Suddenly myself and several other tourists are feeling electrical shocks through the soles of our shoes as we walked across the sandstone. It is obvious that this high sandstone area is building up for a lightning discharge. We all quickly take cover and huddle together under the only available low shelter, which is a small rock shelf. A little wind and rain passes through and the static electricity is making our hair stand straight up.
I had grabbed my camera but my metal tripod was still standing behind us, about thirty feet away. We could hear a popping sound and when we located the source, it was coming from my tripod. When we peeked over the edge of the rock shelf, we could see static electricity discharging from the tripod to the ground and between the tripod legs. My tripod looked like the special effects from a sci-fi movie with electricity flying all about.
Seven strangers, now instant friends, huddled under this sandstone shelf, with our ear plugged, waiting for the inevitable lightning strike — and nothing happened. No lightning at all. Not even nearby.
The storm clouds passed, we all had a laugh and walked down the hill in the dark together. However, my tripod was never quite the same after that.