Review of "Mary Sharms" by Extreme Chase Tours
My husband and I decided to go on a storm chasing tour as a vacation in 2013. We had gone on one other tour with another tour company in 2010 and decided to go with someone else. After a lot of research, we decided to go with Extreme Chase Tours. We contacted them by email as instructed. Laura replied within the hour by email and this help us feel very comfortable. Laura explained everything about the tour and answered all of our questions. This obviously diminished any concerns we might have had. You are required to pay the deposit first and then pay the remaining balance, which also was no problem. We then discussed how we would get to Tulsa. My husband decided that we would just drive down considering that we live only 5 hours away. We started looking at locations to park our car for the duration of the tour. It was then that we totally fell in love with Lanny and Laura. After hearing of our plans through email - they offered us to just leave our car at their house. They actually offered this! We had looked at many places and although it was not real expensive to leave our car at the airport or similar location, they offered to let us leave it at their home and did not charge us anything. We were so thankful for this. When we arrived in town on our arrival date, we chose our motel for the evening and then contacted Lanny to let him know we made it. Lanny had scheduled our dinner or what they call the "meet and greet" for that evening. again, this is another point where we fell in love with Lanny and Laura....they paid for everyone's dinner that evening! We met up the following morning and dropped our car off at their house and off we went. I cannot explain how excited it was to take off knowing you were going to spend the next 6 days on the road chasing weather, especially with folks like Laura and Lanny. We drove most of the day and by afternoon we were in western Kansas. It was vey strange to be driving along under blue skies and then seeing the white puffy clouds start to build. almost as if on cue from what Lanny had explained. Lanny informed us that he thought that a tornado watch box would be issues soon right for the area we were in. And within 30 minutes we saw the tornado watch on the laptop. We had storms explode just west of us but Lanny thought the best storm of the day would be further south. He was looking at the computer and saw what he explained as "backed surface winds" that were stronger to the south. So we headed south to new development near Great Bend Kansas. Lanny went into detail explaining everything that we were seeing and even went into detail as to what he thought was going to happen with the storm we were chasing. Lanny finally said that he was sure we would see a tornado from our storm as it was now producing a very large wall cloud that was rotating. I remember looking at my husband and we both smiled at each other....we were so very excited because we had not seen a tornado with the other tour company we went with. Just a few minutes later Lanny screamed tornado! I might add that his passion when explaining the weather is contagious but when severe weather is occurring like the tornado, you can't help but get so very excited! I simply cannot explain how we all felt and it is probably best to just experience this. We ended up seeing 4 tornadoes that day and some amazing storm structure. My husband who is into photography took some wonderful photos! But the tornado and the big storm are just the icing on the cake so to speak. The emotions felt, the scenes we saw and the education we received was truly the best part of the trip for me. Lanny and his crew knew what they were doing and certainly know how to run a business like this. For my husband, the tour mean so many things as well. As I said, he took some wonderful pictures and had a great time but even he will tell you that the friendships made and the learning that Lanny offered is why we are coming back this year! We can't wait! The tour was comfortable and Lanny and the other guide were very professional although Lanny does like to use colorful language sometimes. But we actually enjoyed this and it helped to make the tour so much more personal. We only experienced one day when we did not have any weather to chase. During this time we went to a local park and took some pictures. I think they handled the non-chasing time very good and tried to give us some other stuff to do, which was very fun. During the trip we stayed in very nice motels and Lanny would even go so far as to check our rooms before we went in. This made us feel extremely comfortable. We simply loved the trip so much that we have reserved our seats for May of this year! Lanny and Laura run a wonderful company and we are so glad that we decided to go with them!
We chased in a van which was very comfortable. We had room for our luggage and everyone else as well. Some people who have never gone on a trip like this might not understand how long that you actually have to be in the vehicle. You are literally in the van for hours so it must be comfortable. The van was very comfortable and clean. In fact, Lanny would have the van cleaned out every morning from the previous days chase which I thought went above and beyond.
Tour guide review:
As I mentioned already, Lanny has so much knowledge that he gladly shares with everyone on the tour. I felt completely comfortable with his decisions on where to chase every day. He said we would see weather and we did. He said we would see a tornado and we saw 4. He said that we would have a day of down time and we did. But then we were able to chase the next day. Lanny defiantly knows the weather and made the best out of the weather. My husband and I give him a 10 out of a 10
Comments on this review