Jordan Van Loo with cup

Lightning Storms and Sand Dunes

It has been a long-standing goal of mine to camp out on North America’s tallest dunes. So, two weeks ago, I threw almost everything I would need into my 2006 Buick Lacrosse, and I headed out across the country to accomplish this.

If I am honest, I have been pretty burned out lately. Months of COVID marketing will do that to a person, I guess. Dunes, to me, are sacred places. They fill my heart with whimsy and make me want to run and jump like I was 12 again. So I ventured out into the dunes to help restore something missing from my soul.

I planned to camp out there for three nights or so. After hiking for about three miles, I pitched my tent and went for a walk. As I crested a tall dune a little ways from my tent, a cold front slammed into me. The wind picked up and was more violent than any wind I have ever experienced. The sand began to move like an ocean, and I sprinted back to my tent moments before pouring sheets of rain hurtled to the desert floor.

Eventually, I was forced to abandon my small camp and run for my life through blasting hail as lightning approached from the distance. It was an adventure for the books!

I have always tried to be the type of person who is filled with that special type of magic we call life or whimsy. The kind of person who you know is secretly still a child on the inside.

I guess the purpose or takeaway from this post are these two lessons I learned during my camp:

  1. Make sure you don’t go camping in a dune field during a lightning storm. There is nothing else for lightning to hit other than you.
  2. There are some things in life for which it is worth risking getting struck by lightning.

Since leaving LSSU, Jordan began working toward his Masters degree in Marketing Research through Michigan State University and will be going into his final semester this fall. Jordan’s currently working remotely as a marketing consultant for various companies and organizations. Since he has flexibility of location, Jordan has been spending the summer chasing a few sunsets at locations on his bucket list. This adventure brought him to Great Sand Dunes National Park.

At the start of 2020, he wanted to begin applying some of the things he learned during his time at LSSU, so he started a small company called Stickers from Uganda. Part of the purpose for his trip out west was to continue to make connections with some boutiques and work to get these stickers into some brick and mortar stores.

Jordan is back in Michigan for a few weeks this summer and then plans to scoot south to chase some waterfalls in Tennessee.

About the Author

Jordan Van LooJordan Van Loo '19
Adventurer, Raft Builder, and Sticker Enthusiast