Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sleepless in Missouri

Cav at Finger Lakes State Park, Missouri
This is a footnote to my last post.  We spent day three driving across Missouri.  We spent the night at a nice state park campground (Finger Lakes State Park).  That night we had severe thunderstorm warnings prior to going to bed.  Like I do most nights, I got woken up in the middle of the night to go to the bath room because of my colitis.  It’s become a routine and part of that routine has me sitting on the toilet reading the news and weather on my cell phone.   

So at 2:15 am, I’m sitting on the can, checking the weather and see we have severe hail, severe winds, and tornadic conditions heading straight for us (about 30 miles away).  On the radar there’s a wide swath just to the north heading for my area. In the radar color scheme, it’s not dark green or yellow.  It’s RED and PURPLE indicating heavy rain, heavy winds, and a whole lot of bad shit.  It jolts me wide awake.  What to do?  Wake up Cav, get dressed, turn on the weather radio, and get the bug out bag ready in case we have to bolt.  NOAA is reporting heavy storms with potential winds up to 70 mph, hail, and a tornado warning.  Same thing as last year.  I hate Missouri weather.

It was a nervous two hours while we waited it out.  We were right in the path, but luckily the bad weather was above us in the atmosphere.  We had spectacular lighting up in the sky lighting up the whole campground, some errant bolts to the ground, and lots of chain lighting across the sky.  But there was no wind or hail and just some sporadic downpours.  It was a sleepless night but luckily our number didn’t get called.
The next day we heard news reports of hail damage just to the northwest of us.  A F3 and F1 touched down just west of Kansas City about 60 miles away.   We were glad to get out of Missouri the next day.

Coeur d'Alene Campground
After three long driving days, day four was a short mileage day (183 miles) and it got us a third of the way across Kansas just north of Wichita.  Being wicked hot and humid again (temps and humidity in the high 80’s) we searched out another campground with electricity so we could run the AC/C.  We found a beautiful Army Corp of Engineers campground at Melvern Lake just outside of Emporia.  The Coeur d’Alene campground sits on the southern shore of Melvern Lake.  It has about 40 well spaced paved sites along the shore and several have electricity.   At $17 per night is a bargain and outshines most private campgrounds.

It was nice to have a short driving day.  I got to take a walk, cook a nice meal, play the mandolin, and got some time to relax.  Cav got to ride his bike.  Tomorrow we start to follow the Sante Fe trail across Kansas.

Cav at Melvern Lake

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