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DAY #5: To the land of Aahs (Kansas)
06 May 2003
Little Rock, AR - Springfield, MO
Bill calls each of us. We are leaving an hour early, as the models indicate
that SE KS will light up early this afternoon, due to strong CAPE and weak
0900: 14 bleary eyed souls pile into 3 vans for a trek to Kansas. Scott (WI:KB9CBK) and his chase partner from Connecticut have joined our convoy. Our briefing happens in the parking lot, with Bill explaining using paper maps (vs. the usual laptop lecture). Jaime's conspicuously absent; he is nursing an upset stomach and needs extra time. Almost all of us slept badly, despite the newly renovated, immaculate rooms at the motel. With the motel re-grinding the walkways, nobody would be sleeping past 8:30 anyhow.
1045: Just south of exit 67 on I-40, a jackknifed tractor-trailer is being extricated from the median. Apparently that vehicle put a 30 foot long groove in another trailer rolling aside him where I-40N shrunk to one lane northbound. The second trucker kept his rig on the road, but both trailers are seriously damaged. A harsh reminder: driving on these tours can be dangerous. Hats off to Blake, Keith, and Bill for keeping us on the road and safe. We still have been ribbing Blake about mowing down a bird ("grilled chicken, hold the grill") Sunday and his fender bumper (notice I did NOT say 'bender') yesterday. I think we'd better lay off today: we are all short on sleep (and humor).
1110: We resume our path north after a pee break (30 minutes!) ( OK, so we aren't exactly an Indianapolis 500 pit crew!)
1234: Bill updates us on forecasts as we pass exit 65 on I-540N. The eastern 1/5 of Kansas ans across the border into Missouri are called for supercell development along the dryline. Mid- to late afternoon looks like our timeframr for initiation around our target of Joplin, MO.
1300: The freeway ends, as we pull north through Belle Vista, AR, about to enter extreme southwest Missouri. We cross into Missouri around 1310.
????: At Joplin. I stow the laptop, resorting to paper notes.
|ROUTE: LITTLE ROCK> I-30E > I-430N > I-40W > exit 64 : LAMAR
(US 64) PEE BREAK (1045-1115) > I-40W > I-540N (1200) > [Bobby Hopper Tunnel (1215)] > I-540N >US 71 N >
|MODELS||Unavailable. (May have to grab 'em tonight)|
|MEALS & HOTEL||MEALS:|
BREAKFAST: La Quinta Inn (Little Rock, AR) - The best continental breakky since OKC: everything but the fancy waffle machine.
LUNCH: What's that?
DINNER: A Kansas City steak would be nice!
||Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the Pratt-Cullison storms we saw with TT in 2002.
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