Thursday, August 30, 2018

Weathering the storms amid big rigs and RVs

   ASHLAND, Nebraska - The run from Watkins Glen to this idyllic locale just over the Platte River from Omaha was faster than anticipated.
    But that stopped yesterday afternoon when I pulled into Eugene T. Mahoney State Park. I have visited this park several times in the last few years, either heading east or returning west. With the Red Writer teardrop, it's much more enjoyable. And I need a rest after driving too many hours in too short a time frame.

The Red Writer at rest in Nebraska
   Translation? I'll leave Saturday for either Scottsbluff, Neb. or to Minturn, Colo. Or maybe Sunday? Or Monday.
   ?Quien sabe?
   A few days in a nice creek side campsite should put my nerves back into their proper casings after living through twin thunderstorm-related events. If you're from the Midwest, they were just storms. To a Californian-New Yorker, a tad more.
   The first happened in Atkinson, Il.
   The lightning in the distance flashing out of low, the dark black clouds were spectacular and covered the horizon. Had I been sailing on the ocean, I would have turned and ran as fast as I could away from the storm.
   But Interstate Highways don't let you do that so easily.
   And so an hour after first seeing the storm I drove right into, I ended up pulling off the highway in a hasty search for high ground to avoid predicted flash flooding. The rain was coming down so fast visibility was near zero. The town streets were deserted, too...

   When the storm cleared it was off to the next town up a few miles the highway in search of a campground.
   The only one was on the banks of a river outside of town.
   Given that flash flood warnings, plus witnessing the devastation from flooding in Hector, NY, the choice was obvious.
   NO  (&(^^%)*))*Q% WAY!
   A few miles later the Red Writer crossed over the Mississippi into Iowa, where the Interstate RV Park beckoned.
   The park has full RV services and is tucked in snugly amid lots of commercial activity.
   The snug part proved to be really important.
   Just after the Red Writer as all hooked up and settled, another RV owner - who bore a strange resemblance to Mr. Magoo in looks and speech - knocked on the door and warned that a huge storm was headed our way in a half-hour packing 70 mph winds and torrential rains. He said many people were going to "shelter in place" in the building housing the bathrooms and showers.
   I was still trying to decide whether this was a red wine or white wine kind of storm when the wind and rain walloped the campground well ahead of schedule, trapping most people in RVs.

   Luckily, no RVs did a Dorothy, flying off to OZ. All stayed firmly on the ground, though the RV park was a swamp for hours.
   There's more rain in the forecast for the next week here, but no tormentas like the ones in these videos.
   None predicted anway.

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