Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Wow, what a day!
I spent a week in Minneapolis with a friend and went to a week of rehearsals of The Wizard of Oz hence the Dorothy reference In the title.
I just got back on the road again yesterday after a fun week with my friend. I knew the weather was going to get bad at some point but was hoping to make it to my next stop before the storms got bad. I drove a couple of hours and could see the dark clouds and knew I needed to find a stop for at least a few hours. I ended up stopping at a Walmart in Worthington MN around noon. I hung out in the trailer with the boys and did some work. I decided I needed to wander around a bit so I went into the store, then across the street to Goodwill. I heard there was a tornado warning over the radio but the one thing about traveling is you may know what town you're in but I have no idea what county I was in. No one seemed terribly alarmed so I wandered outside to another store where still no one seemed alarmed. The sky was really dark and the clouds parted in this weird way and it looked circular... But huge. So I was watching the clouds as this huge arch was being created as the clouds were separating.
As I was standing there this young girl, maybe 13 or so, comes up to me and asks if I had a car. She was wandering around town while her parents were at work and wanted to get back home because of the tornado warning. She was a bit scared as we were watching the clouds and this interesting teal color came thru the clouds. I tried to ease her fears and told her to come with me into Walmart and she can call her parents.
People were running out of the store to their cars and the girl was beginning to freak a bit. She looks at me and asked while people were running and I told her people like to over react but all was going to be fine. She told me she about held my hand. We got inside and I brought her to the service desk and told them she needed to call her parents, said my goodbyes and left her in their hands.
As I was about to walk outside the clouds opened up and rain and wind like I haven't seen since being in Florida during a hurricane. The store manager was by the door and I was looking out the windows. He moved just an inch and the automatic doors flew open with a loud bang as we watched their plastic pools fly on by.
They made us all go to the back of the store... Which is really no place I want to be... I mean how do you get out? All the employees and customers were in the back of the store by electronics... Hell if I am going to stand anywhere close to a bunch of TVs... Do these people not watch moviesand those seems of death by electronics?? So I moved over into the toy section and was looking for some sort of cushion to throw over my head if the roof should come off. We were close to the furniture section so I eyed a few cushions and stayed somewhat close to them.
We were in there what seemed like forever but maybe 30 minutes or so. I was quite concerned because my boys were out in the trailer. What if the trailer tipped over... What if they got out... Will they be alive when this is done. I tried not to get myself in a panic as I was thinking about loosing them all in one day. That would be devastating to me.
We could hear the rain and on occasion some hail hitting the roof. I just thought of what you see of Walmart on the news when a tornado hits... Wondering what it would be like but yet I was really clam. Talked to a few people and played with some toys.
It seemed like the weather was dying down a bit so I walked to the front to see if I could see my bike and trailer. It looked like all was well. I got told to go back to the back of the store so I did. It was a little bit longer and we were finally out of the tornado warning and it was just a severe thunderstorm warning. We finally were free to go outside or finish our shopping so I went outside in the rain and wind to check on things. My motorcycle fell over but the trailer was still upright. The leg thing on the front of the trailer was bent to the side because of the bike falling but other than that all looked ok.
People of course passed as they were trying to get home so I went back in the store for a few minutes. Finally the wind and rain died down and I went back outside and these 2 guys got out of their car and helped me pick up my bike. The bike started and the trailer was still connected so I rode down the street to a hotel.
Completely sopping wet the first hotel was full. Got to the second hotel wetter than a fish and they had an opening. The front desk person made me wait in my clothes that I could of rung out and fixed the drought in California while she had to get cookies out of the oven. Finally she came back so I could check in and proceeds to tell me that the rain was good because they are in a drought. Guess she hasn't seen a real drought like the southwest.
The rest of the evening I was nice and dry while the boys were in the wet trailer. There was an amazing light show during the evening. Amazing lightening going across the sky but other than that it was an uneventful evening. I need to get up with the sun and check everything to be sure I am good to be on the road. Will probably have to stop at a RV repair place at some point during the day to see if they can fix the leg thing on the trailer. I am hoping to have trailer lights... Something went funky with the trailer wireing harness and it wouldn't plug in correctly when I left Walmart but I got it plugged in but couldn't check the lights a little later in the evening... So hoping that isn't an issue. I just had that fixed a little over a week ago... That's another story...