Day 4 – When you are bored in the van

On a storm chasing tour you spend many long hours in the van. I was fully aware of this and it was also a bit of one of the things I really looked forward too. This spring, I have been busy with something from the moment I woke up to the second I had fallen asleep in the evening, so to be bored is quite nice and a sign that you are starting to reduce your stress levels.

When you get bored you start to come up with a lot of ideas and find a lot of stupid stuff to talk about. I was lucky to end up in a tour with a very fun group and everyone is really doing their best to make things happen. Basically, at each gas stop someone purchases some sort of toy or the likes of it, in order to kill some time in the van…

These are a few examples of what we have done in order to kill time:

  • Soap bubble-clay pigeon shooting with…I have no idea what it’s called in English 🙂
  • Water fights (!)
  • Teach Australians how to sing / kill the Swedish national anthem – especially this was hysterically funny
  • Sleeeeep
  • Playing with all kinds of toys
  • Taking stupid photos
  • Visit a bunch of weird “sights” you run into on the way, like that Big Ball of Twine.
  • Talk, talk, talk…

 

Louisa in her wig
Louisa in her wig

 

soap bubble clay pigeon shooting
Soap bubble clay pigeon shooting.

 

largest ball of twine
The world’s largest ball of twine. I guess it also is a proof of the Worlds Largest Waste of Time!

 

Day 4 was a pure Travel Day. We were moving up from Texas to western Kansas (Colby). When we arrived we once again bumped into a large crowd from the Vortex 2-project (known from The Weather Channel). We pretty much run into about the same bunch of storm chasers all the time. We have, however, only seen the armoured car from the Discovery Channel once.

In the evening we decided to try the nightlife in Colby, KS. Suitably, the bar was called Twisters, and it had pictures of tornados and storms on the walls. The people in the bar were basically some dozen local guys who all had:

  • Working shoes
  • Light blue jeans
  • White t-shirt / short sleeved shirt
  • A baseball cap. And I mean Everyone!

Just like most people in the Midwest they were really nice and fun to talk to, farmers who had lived in Colby all of their lives. In addition, there were also a couple from the local research / TV Team Vortex 2 in the bar (not wearing the “Colby uniform”).

On the big TV screen on the wall they were first showing UFC but later on the Weather News was on the rest of the night. In a bar 🙂 Talk about sub-culture!

People were generally very excited because all the data suggest that the shit is about to hit the fan. It might start to become interesting already today (i.e. Day 5), but especially this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed!

dust devil
A so-called Dust Devil we saw from the road. A sort of mini-tornado and you’ve probably seen one at some point. This one was relatively large and can be seen just to the left of the houses. It is also a picture of how incredibly flat it is in some places in which you chase.

 

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