Tom and I spend more time monitoring the weather, living in an RV, than we ever did when we lived in a house. And with good reason. Whenever you read about damage in a tornado, what is the first thing that gets blown away? The trailer parks! Because we are mobile, we figure it is easier to watch the weather and avoid the bad weather (as much as possible) than to drive blithely on and park in the path of a tornado.
One weather challenge this month was getting over the Colorado Rockies. After our good time in Utah, we wanted to see the two canyons which were previous posts in Colorado. Both of these canyons are to the west of the Rockies. As we watched the weather forecasts, we knew that the Rockies were getting heavy snow – up to two feet – in the mountain passes we needed to go over. So we adjusted our schedule and decided to stay another day in Colorado, then added one more day.
We drove over Monarch Pass (11,312 feet) on a blue-sky day with snow piled all around us but US 50 clear and dry. That night we stayed at the foot of the Rockies in Canon City. As we pulled out the next day, the snow started again in the Rockies and they have been under winter weather advisories ever since. We picked the perfect envelope for driving over the pass.
As we continued through Kansas and Missouri, we kept an eye on the severe thunderstorms that are common in the Midwest and the Plains in May. We missed a line of severe storms through St. Louis by 1/2 hour, although we could see the dark clouds and lightning off to the northeast. Then we drove through showers in Illinois that were severe just to the north and east of us. When we got to the border of Illinois and Indiana, we noticed a severe thunderstorm alert just ahead of us, so we pulled off the road and waited about 20 minutes for it to pass. Then we headed on to our campground just east of Terre Haute.
When we got to the campground, we could see the results of the storm. There were flooded spots, trees down, and the power line and phone line going into the campground were down. We spent the night in our reserved camping spot, but didn’t unhook or put out our slides. In the morning, seeing that more rain was predicted, we decided to travel on to Ohio.
Sometimes I think we are a little obsessive about the weather, but being careful leads to safer travel. We won’t be able to avoid all the bad weather that is out there, but being mobile, we can avoid what the weather forecasters are able to predict.