Running From the Storms
13 May 2014
Cadenza is on hiatus in La Paz. She is sitting out hurricane season. Meanwhile, Jay and I are driving from California to Massachusetts.
April 28, 2014
Today we woke up in Illinois. It has rained practically every minute of the past twenty-four hours. For the last three days we have been dodging storms. There have been high winds, thunder and lightning, and heavy rains. There was even a tornado watch on one leg of our trip.
I find it ironic. I spent so much time worrying and studying the weather so we would be safe sailing, but never did I think I would have to worry about tornadoes.
"You aren't scared, are you?'' Jay asked me. It was two days ago and this day we woke up in Roswell, New Mexico and were headed for Witchita, Kansas. Jay had our trip all planned. He was aiming for six hundred miles a day so we could arrive in Martha's Vineyard in time for our goats to be delivered.
Yes, goats! He discovered that goats eat poison ivy and we have a half-acre of poison ivy in our back yard. Jay found a woman who has started a goat landscaping business of sorts (the newest, coolest thing, ecologically speaking) and we are renting ten goats to clean out our yard.
"Really. You aren't scared are you?" he repeated as I shuffled through the channels trying to find the weather station while at the same time Googling what to do if confronted with a tornado.
Well....yeah, I thought. What I said was, "No. I just think it's smart to be prepared. Like, you know, when we are sailing. I mean, we wouldn't leave the dock if there was a storm brewing."
"We're not going to run into a tornado, Terri." He said as he walked away to finish packing his suitcase.
"Look!" I said, pointing to the television. There on the screen was a big circle with the words, "TOR:CON - 5" over Witchita. This, we learned, meant a fifty-fifty chance of a tornado in the fifty mile radius around Witchita. That got Jay's attention. Although he still seemed rather unconcerned.
Maybe we should take the southern route, after all, I thought. Then I saw a TOR:CON - 7 over some of the southern states. Maybe not. Whichever way, it looked like we were going to run into weather, no matter what. In fact, it looked like we would be running with the storm all the way across country.
One of the first lessons I learned in my weather for sailing class is that there are two things that will almost always cause accidents; being too tired and having to stay on a schedule. This crossed my mind when Jay noted that staying put wasn't an option. We weren't going to sit in this hotel for a week and besides, we had to be home when the goats arrived. He couldn't believe I was so skittish about the whole thing. But I was. I am terrified of tornadoes. More than hurricanes. Even more than earthquakes. Well, maybe not earthquakes.
I quickly downloaded The Weather Channel App onto my iPhone as we headed out the door.
To appease my growing concern and to unravel the frown that was wrinkling my forehead, Jay agreed to take a different route. We started heading north instead of east and found our way to Wakeeney, Kansas which was about 150 miles northwest of Witchita. A good thing too. Although there were no tornadoes in that area, the storm that hit Witchita was far worse than the one we woke up to in WaKeeney. In fact, a tractor trailer was blown over on 70, the route we would have been taking had we gone that direction. Still trying to outrun the storms, we headed north again before going east.