Meh! I’m worn out (like my shoes).
My feelings are amplified by the fact I gave up on chasing during this long weekend, but a MOD RISK has been issued. Had I followed my plan (on Friday) to travel west, go see Mt. Rushmore, then hope for storms, I could have been within reach of the expected storms:
OVERALL SEVERE STORM RISK
Man, I need an attitude adjustment and fast!
And seeing the results of today’s storm isn’t making this easier:
11 May 2013 – CHASE 2013 – DAY 11
Today is a travel day, as we need to get everybody back to Oklahoma City by morning.
I’m feeling pretty sad about the trip being over. We have a really terrific group on this tour, and I will miss them all very much when we go our separate ways.
We’ve had a very discouraging weather pattern for storms, but Bill Reid had put us on the best ones whenever they were available (that is, days 1, 8-10)
Today’s USA TODAY seems to be rubbing our noses in the fact we saw no tornado in ten days in May:
______ – We stop at Austin for a lunch at Fuddrucker’s
______ – We jump off I-35N at West,TX. We grab a snack at the famed Czech Stop And Wander East into town. We cannot see the blast site from the recent fertilizer plant explosion. We see houses with boarded-up windows and crumpled aluminum garage doors from blast, even from 14 blocks away from the temporary chain link fence protecting the disaster.
19:10 – We cross the Red River on I35N, returning to Oklahoma for the last time during the trip.
Still no consistent Internet. To quote polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott, “What a god-forsaken place!”
We are on Terlingua, TX today. We spent the whole day here, just stone’s throw from the Mexican border.
We have VERY limited Internet availability here. I’m just doing a short, temporary entry until I have a better connection.
[All times are MOUNTAIN time (MDT) unless noted otherwise]
- 0700 – wake; shower; dress; get breakfast; pack bags
- 1030 – load van; briefing
- 1100 – head west
- 1154 – On the road to Taos (US 64 West), we stopped for some photos for 10 minutes. A ranger stopped to tell us we needed to pay $5 (even though it was obvious the 8 people with cameras and no tents were stopping for photos, not to set up camp. “Bureaucrat!” I though as he drove off. (To save further grief and aggravation, we drove off shortly thereafter. No $40 from us!)
- 1213 – I took more photos of the landscape to our south. I see snow on the mountains and in scattered patches on the ground. Hopefully, we do not have any on the roads ahead.
- 1229 – We stop for a few photos of a few mountain storms brewing. Typically these fizzle as they reach the flatlands (especially when the dew points are in the 40s there).
- 1245 – continue to just east of Eagle’s Nest; photo opp for mountain lake with snow-capped Rockies as a backdrop. Breathtaking!
- 1250 – At the Eagle’s Nest convenience store, we stop for washrooms, food, fuel
- 1305 – continue to Taos; per GPS, our route crests at 9058 feet above sea level then descends into town.
- 1412 – After a 15 minute stroll, we have lunch at Ricky’s (based on a recommendation by some friendly, local workmen). “It’s a keeper” $14 plus tip for a hearty New Mexican combination plate and an iced tea.
- 1538 – depart east on US 64 until NM 505. We stop to observe several storms rolling off the Sangre de Cristo range (one NW, one S of us). Both are photogenic non-severe storms that fizzle as they reach the moisture-starved plain of NE NM.
- 2100 – we check in to the Sands Motel (again); 5 minutes later several of us pile in the van for star gazing
- 2127 – then 5 in our group take a stargazing side trip to 7 mi E of Yankee.