Even though I haven't spoken with my Florida attorney and things are “percolating” down there, I have convinced myself to continue heading west. If I have to return to Florida, I'll just have a longer drive. I am not going to let anyone, let alone a relative (well...half-relative) mess up my summer camping trip.
So...after dumping my tanks and having coffee with Roger and Gretchen, I'm back on the road.
It's a long and mostly boring day...south from South Dakota into Iowa and then all the way across Nebraska into Sterling, Colorado. I drive...listen to Music...Vampire Weekend, Brahms, DJ Disse, some “technoized” Lana del Rey, and a few techno podcasts.
Around 6:00PM, I arrive at a campground in Sterling, Colorado. It's not a Koa or Good Sam Park...a little run-down, but it's a place to camp...and it has water and electric. The office is closed, but I call the number on the door and, soon, a lady walks down to check me in. My neighbors, Tom and Sarah, are in the campground for an “extended stay” while Tom works on a pipeline and does odd jobs for the local utility.
Once I set up camp, I pour myself a generous “four fingers” of Breckinridge Bourbon, throw in some ice and kick back. Sarah has cooked a big “turkey dinner”, and Tom brings over a huge plate of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, corn and gravy. They are good neighbors, indeed.
After dinner, I open a beer and relax in my camp chair. But, after an hour or so, the skies grow dark...and a disturbing “weather formation” appears. Tom comes over and says that things are going to get “real bad, real soon”. There's a huge dark cloud formation with a “funnel shape” heading our way. A warning siren goes off in the camp...an emergency vehicle drives through with a loudspeaker warning everyone to take shelter. The skies grow darker...the wind picks up...rain starts to fall. Soon the wind (known as “straight line winds”) is furious...and the rain is coming down so hard that I can barely see. Tom and Sarah scoop up their three cats and shout for me to hop in their pickup with them to head for the shelter. And we drive to the edge of camp with Sarah driving and me holding a kitty on my lap ( a very unhappy kitty). We can barely see...Sarah almost hits a dumpster. The campground “shelter” is the laundry building...and it's packed with a lot of very anxious people. I take a look at the “radar app” on my phone...Sterling is smack in the middle of the “purple area”...not good. Some one has a radio...a tornado has touched down just four miles away...we are all VERY nervous. Outsine the laundry building, the rains pound and the wind shrieks...a tent comes flying by along with branches and other debris....golf ball sized hail starts falling...it sounds like a acjine gun is firing on the roof.
And then...just like that...it's over. The wind and the rain stop...the sun even pokes it's head out.
Everyone heads back to their campsites.
I get a local station on the radio...there are more storms coming, but the worst is over. They have cable TC at the campground, so I hook up and watch several episodes of “Law and Order”...drink a few beers.
I sleep, but it's a very uneasy sleep.