So here we go again
I’ve been in Oklahoma since the weekend. I’ve filled my suitcase with cheap clothes, I went and saw Age of Ultron, I finally finished watching Daredevil on Netflix. There’s some major exciting things brewing back home in the meantime, but like the storms, things are quiet for now.
After a couple of days relaxing in Oklahoma City, I set out out for my second tour of duty on the American Great Plains hunting down tornadoes in a few hours. We’ve got a good team with veterans of chasing such memorable tornadoes as Pilger, Joplin and El Reno. There’s also a load of people who are about to embark on their first tour. I see their nervousness and excitement and it reminds me to last year and my first tour. It seems so long ago.
Whilst I am excited and hardly slept last night, I now know what to expect. I joked with one of my fellow chasers that I’m now the most dangerous type of storm chaser… someone who thinks they know everything! In reality, I know very little which is why I’m glad I’m touring with a group again. I plan to stay very safe.
What was interesting, chatting with people I chased with last year and have met up with again along with people who are also on their second chase, is how much our first tour changed us. Now maybe it’s part of being in the elusive “0 metre club” (those chasers who’ve been inside a tornado), but this experience changes your outview on life. It makes you more confident. After experiencing the sheer violence of nature and seeing how it has no regard for law or order, of being humbled to the point where you know the universe doesn’t give a fuck about you, you kinda see things different.
Everyday anxieties are just that. They’re a human construct. Whether someone says yes or no, the tornado’s still going to blow through. It doesn’t make those anxieties go away but you can see them for what they are.
I would never have bought my house and moved it hadn’t been for the experience of my last tour. Fellow veterans have similar stories. Tour 1 was made of life changing stuff. Will our second tour be equally as life-changing?
In a few hours we depart Oklahoma in the vans and head north. Looks like we’ll be chasing in Nebraska and Iowa Friday and Saturday. We’ll probably be live streaming as well.
If the forecasts prove correct and we find storms we’ll be streaming at http://www.tvnweather.com/live as Basehunters1. Storms probably won’t initiate until 10pm UK time (4pm local) and if I’m not in the van streaming, I’ll be in the one directly behind.
Nebraska has a lot of farm land so let’s hope that the tornadoes we spot stay away from populated areas. If you’re in those areas, please stay safe.
We’ve got 10 days of chasing ahead of us and haven’t really looked much beyond the weekend. As the tour progresses I’ll continue to post updates to the blog. I doubt anything could be as crazy as last year but who knows. Storms are unpredictable.
Calm Before The Storm
So here we go again