27 May 2013 – Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Meh! I’m worn out (like my shoes).

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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

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TORNADO RISK

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Man, I need an attitude adjustment and fast!

And seeing the results of today’s storm isn’t making this easier:

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11 May 2013 – CHASE 2013 – DAY 11

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:

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______ – 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.

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23 April 2012 – DAY 3 – Playing Tourist

[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.