Boom. Bad Ass.
The storm was several hours away when we woke up, but we could still hear it rumbling in the distance.
I had already gotten texts from Mom and my best friend making sure we were safe 😂 I said we had the trail cam going for when a gust or tornado ripped the tent out of the ground 🌧⛺️📸 🌪
We ate a quick and easy breakfast of Raisin Bran Crunch and cleaned up the site. We checked that the tarps and flies (flys?) were secure and our myriad of beefy tent stakes were firmly footed in the ground. We checked for dangling branches, cracked the windows that were under the tarps and hoped for the best.
We grabbed a coffee and watched the sky from the Dunkin parking lot. I question, daily, how there is a Dollar General and an auto parts store every 15 feet in this state, but not a single Cumberland Farms in sight. I’m wondering if I can continue existing without $.99 iced coffee 😱😱😱
We elected to head east while staying ahead of the storm. We found some version of make your own iced coffee at a Mobil, which were half the size and twice the price but hey 🤷🏼♀️ and watched the sky and radar more from that parking lot.
It was windy, with fluffy, dark and wispy clouds approaching. We knew the campground was getting pummeled as we spoke, with tornado watches and severe thunderstorm warnings galore.
“I have a plan.” I said.
“Let’s hear it.” Eric replied.
“I say we go southwest here, cut across this scary red radar area, and start heading northwest here. By the time we hit the city, we can go back east and should be able to skirt the worst of the storm.”
Eric studied the radar and nodded. “Sounds good. Let’s do it.”
“We’ll be in this bad area for a few but once we’re past it, all we’ll have is rain. I think, and I’m sure you agree, that we don’t want to be on the highway in this because no one here seems to know how to drive on the highway in the rain.”
Note: Floridians, you can hate me for saying that but it’s our observation that this statement is generally true. Get a grip. Connecticut drivers suck too! I’ll stop now.
We got back in the truck and headed out.
The plus was that we could see the storm quite clearly…until…we couldn’t. Suddenly the rain was coming down in sheets and gusts were strong enough to affect the truck. I did manage to spot a turtle in the road ahead.
“A friggin turtle?! Now??” I bleeted, thinking he was toast. Eric, the phenomenal driver that he is (funny, he’s half MASShole) kept us in our lane AND didn’t hit the turtle.
I noticed that our lane was generally clear with only another car or two. The oncoming lane, however, was nearly bumper to bumper and I wondered if everyone was fleeing something insane, like, say, a tornado?
“I can’t see the road.” Eric said, after a few blinding sheets of rain impaled the windshield. “There’s some debris.” I, too, noticed what appeared to be leaves flying all over.
“Take it as slow as you need to. ” I said, and within seconds, the sky got lighter and we were past it.
I think we each let out a huge sigh of pent breath and loosened our grips on the dash and steering wheel, respectively.
No tornadoes, no accidents and no dead turtles!
One hurdle down.
Our next would be returning to our campsite, to our little tent home.
As we drove in, we noticed tree debris on the road and some of the tall grass was flattened.
My heart was in my throat until we pulled up to the campsite and it was intact! The big tent hadn’t budged and one corner of the back up tent was bowed in.
Thank you, God! 🙏🏼
As an added bonus, there was not a drop of water in the big tent!
Eric and I high fived each other and I wanted to cry that the research we did before this trip about camping in inclement weather (which seemed ridiculous and excessive at the time) payed off. We made it through our fourth severe thunderstorm of the trip.