Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 5 Disco

Uh, uh, uh, uh, stayin' alive, stayin' alive Travolta? wasn't it? Anyway, we were thinking about staying alive today as we crossed Iowa and passed the fast moving face of a storm front that was, thanks to our friends at NOAA weather band, broadcasting that the dark sky was about to turn ugly with 60 mph wind gusts and quarter size hail. I haven't seen lightning like that in recent memory. Come to think of it I haven't seen lightning like that anywhere in my memory. There were times when there were so many lightning bolts firing off around us that we didn't know where to look for the next threat. I held my breath. Remember the old business about counting the seconds between the lightning and the thunder to see how far away the storm was? Pull a Tony Soprano and "Foget aboud it." Simultaneous is a good word that comes to mind. Abby tried to dig a whole in the tile floor of the coach to hide! I counted 8 cracks or more in a straight line across the horizon line over the road in front of us at one time. Only seconds between bolt "bunches", but no time between heat flashes and cloud to cloud lightning. I jokingly wrote about time travel a post or two back and this time I thought I was finding myself right smack dab in the middle of the real thing. The time machine of Back To The Future had nothing in the way of special effects over this little episode. One big bolt cracked off directly in front of us and I thought for a split section I was gonna wind up temporarily blind. Talk about bright light! You want Green energy? Harness this one Franklin!

Fortunately for us we passed through the frontal line quickly enough that we missed the heavy and huge hail they were calling for. NOAA radio updated the watch to a warning as we passed on through, so we were clearly on the edge. I'm thinking that there Doppler Radio must have picked up the coach streaking though that storm and figured it to be a counterclockwise rotation. For sure, it did leave us "spinning!"

Day 5 Travel Tip: parking under the overpass during a storm like this seems like a great idea, THE thing to do, especially when crossing a big open plain like most of Iowa is. Keeps the hail from wonking your windshield. Gets you off the road in a low visibility situation. Makes you feel safe(er) in the storm. But in truth, that is the worst place you could hide. For starters, the shoulder is narrower under the bridge- you are much more likely to get clipped by someone who didn't pull over in the low visibility conditions. But more importantly, the wind velocity under the bridge is magnified beyond that of the wind flowing over it or around it. And should a tornado touch down, it will be happy to suck you out from under there faster than you can sip a shucked oyster from its half shell whether or not you had time to squeeze the lemon on it first!

As our blog gets picked up more and more places, and I read more and more blogs to see what the competition (I use this word in friendly fashion only) is doing - one thing has become clear. My posts and my travel tips are not your normal fare. The name of that place is: I Like It Like That!

And now I'll be signing off for today. Another heavy storm is moving in and we are in a KOA campground, hunkered down under the nice, tall, trees and on the edge of a field. Brace for action. Seacrest, Over and out!

11 comments:

Denice & Dennis said...

Just another blogger from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, who just returned from the Gulf of Mexico, Texas Coast. Seems a little early to be heading to Alaska to us. We are still having snow flurries on a regular daily basis. Take your time, before heading north of Calgary. I'm sure spring will soon come!!

Greg said...

Thanks for the shout out, Denice and Dennis. We're just putting ourselves in striking position. We'll lay over a week in Rapid City here pretty quick and let the warmer weather catch up with us a bit. We will be one week earlier than we headed up in 07- had no trouble then, but we try to keep an extra day or two built into the schedule for weather delays. Glad to hear from you!

Jeff said...

Yowsers! What an electrical storm and I thought it would be snow and ice!
FYI....we got the MagicJack about 8 weeks ago. When our computer goes to sleep, the Magicjack disconnects. I gotta wake it up! There must be a solution but I haven't found it yet.
What will you do in Rapid City?
Jeff and Lisette

Greg said...

Magic Jack still works when your computer sleeps- calls go through directly to voice mail. Sometimes, but not always, it rings through, but there isn't any rhyme or reason to it that I can find.

Rapid City. Rest. Lots to see. Sturgis is nearby. And there's gold in them that Black Hill. Maybe I'll get my early season fix!

Dad said...

Found your Blog from a link from Chris Guld on RVnet. We also are headed for Alaska to workamp on the Kenai for the summer. I also belong to the GPAA and have for about 12 years. I have seen the add for Chicken and always wanted to go but couldn't convince my wife but she finally agreed to try the Kenai. We are currently in Quesnel, BC on our way to the Alcan at Dawson Creek. If you drive fast you can catch up and caravan with us. You can check out our blog at
http://www.AdventuresWithDharma.blogspot.com
Bob and Judy Derivan

Greg said...
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Greg said...

Bob and Judy,
The Kenai is pretty nifty. Be sure to go clamming in Ninilchik and camp on the Spit in Homer at least a night or two during the salmon run in "the hole." YUM.
We liked getting there even better than being there. It's a good "reluctant spouse" part of Alaska- plenty of shopping, comforts, mellow temps. But since you're gonna be there, why not exit the state by stopping for some real gold in Chicken and then do the Top of the World Highway on your way out. Unbelievable!
As for gold on the Kenai, the best is near HOPE. You may find a little bit south of there, but not so much.
Chicken on the other hand, has more gold than chickens (Ptarmigans) and that's a lot!
Love to meet you. Drop us a line if you can make it to camp on your way out....or in.

Greg said...
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Cindy said...

Just found your blog, and glad I did. I'm headed to Alaska on May 15My first trip and going solo. I am a bit nervous and apprehensive, but I'm told lots of folks do it, so here I come....done my homework with upgrades to my trailer and truck. I'm about as prepared as I can be. Enjoying your journey...

Greg said...

Cindy, HI! Welcome aboard. You're not alone...you have us! Don't hesitate to contact us if you need a hand somewhere or advice on something. If you read the 2007 archives (May, June, July, August, and September) yo will have a first hand accounting of our trip from that year when we went darn near everywhere yo can go by "wheels." Don't know where you're starting from, but once yo start into Canada, the AlCan Highway and on in to Alaska through Tok, yo will more than likely meet people who are headed where you are headed and will make some traveling buddies. That happened to us in 07 and continues to work that way right up to the present.
PLEASE: Put Chicken Gold Camp (www.chickengold.com) on your list of must visits. We'd love to meet you and teach you to pan for gold if you'd like to give it a try! You're gonna love this trip!

Cindy said...

Greg: thanks for the info. I will add Chicken to my list of stops. I will also check your travels in 2007. Again, thanks for the encouragment...Cindy