Up until this point in our trip, we have spent considerable time and effort traveling to and enjoying the amazing displays of nature hidden throughout our country. These spectacles include but are not limited to Yellowstone, Glacier, Tetons, Niagara Falls, the Great Lakes, the Smoky Mountains, and the Everglades, just to name a few. So now, I feel a slight irony, as we flee from a mighty showcase of nature’s power and wonder. Our week long stay in Castle Rock, CO with my Aunt Joanne and Uncle Raj (blog post with amazing pictures soon to come), came to an abrupt and early end. Thankfully, our trip was only shortened by one day, and our ability to be flexible and mobilize quickly paid off in ways never before seen on this trip.
Last Tuesday night, as we attentively watched the national and local weather, it become evident that it would be necessary to leave Castle Rock early in order to avoid a massive spring blizzard. We prepared ourselves mentally and emotionally for the next day ahead of us. Waking up the following morning, there was an electrifying energy in the air which motivated every member of our family to stay on task, quickly pack up our RV and promptly leave. The news reports were continually increasing their predictions of force and severity of the eminent threat. The local governments offices had declared a mandatory closure at 2 pm that afternoon to assist workers to get home before the storm. In record time, we sped away from my family’s home at 10 am Wednesday morning.
The air was heavy and the feeling of snow hung dense around us. The force of the wind pushed against our motor home so much so that one might have mistaken me for flying a giant kite, not driving an automobile. As soon as we began to drive, the rains began to fall, and and temperatures began to drop. Traveling towards the freeway, I felt like the child in the “Never Ending Story” fleeing from “the Nothing.” The weather report from CNN news, as we continued to race away, was “Another ‘bomb cyclone’ is hitting the Rockies and the Plains with blizzard conditions”(https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/10/us/blizzard-severe-storms-wednesday-wxc/index.html).
We drove for six hours that day, heading further and further south away from weather that would surely be disastrous to our motor home. We made it into New Mexico, and though the wind continued to be fierce, the sun was shining brightly, making it difficult to believe we had, just hours earlier, escaped blizzard like conditions. But the evidence was clear as we looked at our weather app. As the evening went on we continued to look at the app, amazed at what we saw. Just the day before it was 70 degrees and sunny.
Traveling further south, we camped at an RV park in Amarillo, TX. I was filled with an energetic joy, the kind of feeling I would imagine one might feel who tempted death yet escaped alive. We had made it away and hadn’t suffered any damage from the storm! The excitement of the day lasted all night long. In the morning, my Aunt texted us pictures of the carnage which we had barely avoided. So, all that to say, we have now, for the first time on our trip, fled nature instead of embraced it. Some experiences, I believe, are better left untouched.