Friday, October 16, 2009

Adventures on a Tornado Tour - Part One

Last Fall I watched a show called Storm Chasers on the Discovery Channel and LOVED it. I mean, it's really right up my alley. My roommates know how excited I get about bad weather - if there's 24 hour coverage of any weather event, I sleep on my couch with FoxNews Channel on so that I can wake up periodically throughout the night and get the updates. Look - I never said I was normal. In fact, when Ike blew through last year and we were without power, I was MOST upset about the loss of my 24 hour coverage. The fridge, the A/C, the power - who cares? But taking my 24 hour coverage of the storm and its aftermath? That was just a cruel joke.

ANYWAY, there was one team on this Storm Chasers show (Reed, Joel, and Chris) that was really fun to watch because they really follow their guts and get some great shots of tornadoes. I was telling my roomie Melissa that if I had all the money in the world, I would just pay them to let me go along with them because I would feel safe with people who understand the storm and know what they're doing. My DVR cut off the very end of the last episode of the season so I went to the website to see the footage I had missed and I saw that they actually offered tornado tours . . . WHO KNEW?!!? AND, you don't have to have all the money in the world. I told my family about it and declared that I would go on one of the tours that Spring. Every time I would mention it, my mom would give me a look that said "Over my dead body" but then she did the most unexpected thing - she actually bought me the trip for Christmas. I was really surprised that she did that because I figured she would NOT want me to go on a trip that would potentially put me in harm's way! When I told her that, she said, "I DON'T support you going - I'm hoping your dad will come back to stop you!" :) Oh, momza . . .

So I went on the trip this past Spring (April 2009) and, while I was on my trip, the Discovery Channel was filming the team we were with for this upcoming season. Not our specific tour group, but the team of Reed, Chris, and Joel. And the new season starts this Sunday! So make sure you set your DVRs to record it at 8 pm on the Discovery Channel this Sunday, m'kaaaaaaaaaay?

Since I was along for at least PART of the ride this season, I thought I'd share my adventure with you each Friday while the show is airing. That way you can read about the tour on Friday and then watch the show on Sunday. It's a pretty good plan, don't you think?

So, without further ado, here is my report from my first day of my Tornado Tour . . .

* * * * *

April 20, 2009

I'm so excited about my tornado tour!!! I drove up to Oklahoma City today and am staying in the lovely Clarion Hotel . . . well, let's be honest . . . Motel here in the city and am thankful for the free WiFi and the IHOP next door!!

My road trip was uneventful but I learned a few things . . .

1. If you turn your radio down to talk to your best friend for an hour, when you turn the radio back up it will undoubtedly be picking up a Tejano station.
2. There are a lot of Tejano stations between here and Oklahoma City.
3. Tejano musicians love their trumpets.
4. There's a species of bug out there that is a distant relative of the yellow paint ball. It hits your windshield and then explodes into a vibrant yellow mess that does not respond to windshield washers.
5. If you drive up I-35, you'll see a place called "Oklahoma Horeshoeing School, South Campus." That means there's actually another campus out there, too.
6. There's a car dealership in Oklahoma called Knipplemier Chevrolet. Why???
7. A lot of Oklahomans buy their cars from Knipplemier Chevrolet.
8. If I bought my car from Knipplemier Chevrolet, I would change out the complimentary license plate frame IMMEDIATELY.

I met with the group I'll be touring with and they seem like an interesting group. And by "interesting" I mean there will doubtless be lots of stories to tell. :) Our tour guides are from one of the teams on The Discovery Channel's "Stormchasers" and they're really cool. They told us that they've been watching the weather models and that it looks like Friday - Sunday will be our stormchasing days. So that means that Tuesday through Thursday will be down days for us. Luckily, this tour company takes you to do other stuff on the down days so that you're not just sitting around the hotel - errrr motel - waiting for a storm to come along. So tomorrow we are probably going to go to the Wichita Mountains or some other attraction in Oklahoma.

It's kind of a bummer to have so many down days BUT the upside is that the weather this weekend promises to be good storm chasing weather. PLUS, we will most likely have to chase the storm up into Kansas, Nebraska, and maybe Iowa so that's cool!! I'll get to knock a few states off of my "states I haven't seen yet" list! :) Anyway, they said that the weather this season should be pretty good. And by "good" I mean bad . . . So that will be good!! Are you confused yet?? :)

And now for my fellow tourists . . . There are 6 of us on the tour but I have only met three of them so far. One of the guys is an obnoxious redneck - and I'm talking Larry the Cable Guy obnoxious but with no redeeming qualities. I'm sure he's gonna be a gold-mine of stories. The other guy seems really nice and like he'll be a lot of fun. There's one other girl on the trip and she seems nice, too. We had dinner tonight at Burger King and she rode with me to go find flip flops - can you believe I left home without my flip flops?? It's nice to have another girl on the trip with me so I'm looking forward to getting to know her better.

Ok, well I'm off to bed. Tomorrow we are meeting in the lobby at 9 to discuss where we will spend the day. I'll keep you posted!!!

Love you all!!


Unknown said...

What a cruel trick, Catherine!!!! i already read these. i am not just a follower of this blog but have been a follower of your life before this blog happened.

Catherine said...

Well, I'm gonna flesh them out a bit more, Christen!! But it was too late for me to do anything on this one . . . I was tiiiiiiiiiiiired! So don't get upset with me!! Look at what you've done - you've forced me into excessive exclamation point mode!!!!

Brittni and Eric Douglas said...

Proud to be the 40th follower :)
Hope you are doing well, Catherine!!

Unknown said...

thats awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I knew I would throw you into a crazy typing fit with that comment. Im just kidding. The world really does need to hear these stories as they have already brought so much joy to so many others. Luv ya and miss ya!

The Leuenberger's said...

Loving the new look~~and yes-lets have dinner again soon. I miss you and so does Jax.