Review of "Tour 3 - The Extreme - 7 Days" by Tornadic Expeditions

General review

tl;dr: Erik is a fantastic storm chasing guide and I would tour with him again without question. All-in-all this was a tremendous experience. Not everything was perfect but I would still recommend Erik and his team if you want a fun exploration and storm chasing adventure. The plusses: Erik is a great host and excellent guide. Unfortunately, there weren't any tornadoes to see on our seven-day tour. However, we chased five of the seven days and on each of those days Erik found a severe warned storm. On the first day, we latched on to the only tornado warned storm in the southern Great Plains. Travelling way down in southwest Texas, Erik put us on a supercell in the desert: a fantastic sight. And, on the last day, Erik's expertise placed us on a monster storm on the Kansas/Oklahoma border. Erik gave us a comprehensive briefing every morning and kept us up-to-date throughout the day. It was amazing to see him forecast on the fly and with great accuracy. We had a great group. Five of the eight had toured with Erik before. That's all the recommendation you need. For foodies, this is the storm chasing trip to choose! Erik seems to know (or finds) the best places to eat across the Plains. As a vegetarian, it was a little more difficult for me but Erik did his best to accommodate. It was harder for the vegan in our group. But, that's just a function of eating in the U.S. Great Plains. The vans were comfortable and we had a computer screen to follow radar and other data. Erik also showed videos and acted as DJ. It was more difficult in van 2 as we only had a driver and no guide to manage the laptop etc. The OKs: accommodation was comfortable and (for the most part) clean. One or two guests had a few issues but that's down to the hotels not the tour company. And on one night we did have to stay in lesser accommodation due to college graduations. Travelling and waiting: no two ways about it, you have to like or tolerate travelling vast distances (we did over 2600 miles in seven days) in a van, as well as waiting at truck stops or whatever for storms to develop. But that's part of the experience of storm chasing, and it meant we were always well placed to pick up storms as they developed. It was also nice to travel through smalltown America, not sticking to the interstate. I never knew there were so many grain elevators. On our final chase, we did have a nice wait in a city park in Anthony, KS (big town: two grain elevators). The not-so-goods: we chased well into the evening which meant we sometimes ate very late and didn't get to our hotel until midnight. There were some days when I would have gladly skipped the meal and gone straight to bed. Again, this is part of the storm chasing experience. The could be improved: the communication between vans could have been better. Our driver was on his first tour (he was an experienced storm and hurricane chaser) and was sometimes in the dark as to where we going or what the plan was. I know this was discussed with Erik by others and he plans to improve this for future tours. Also, I would prefer that drivers don't use their mobile phones when driving.

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