Andy Cole's Stormchase blog

Back on the plains in 2019 to share in nature's spectacle

Chris’ Blog: Day 3 – Don’t stop believin’

Breakfast update – I try a ‘local special’, taco with egg, chorizo and cheese. The cheese was sweaty, the chorizo was in fact minced beef so dry that when touched dissipated into dust and the egg was surprisingly better than the previous day…until I found out they recycled it each day. Bravely diving into this ‘local culinary treat’ I realise the only outcome here is an uncomfortable day playing ping pong between interstates restrooms…

The radar isn’t optimistic, a few scatters of hope around SW Texas – we decide to drive to Midland, SW Texas and ‘see what happens’. 3.5 hours into the 3.75 hours drive I decide to have one last look at the radar and, in a spurt of excitement both at finally making a suggestion and finding a storm to chase, I suggest we carry on going an extra 1.5 hours past Midland to Fort Stockton to chase a storm brewing over the mountainous terrain north of the Mexican border. We arrive at Fort Stockton and my first storm recommendation has withered away into a POS, aka., a Piece of Sh*t – great recommendation..! Disappointment number 1.

We retire to our room only for the radar to show the POS has been revitalised – we grab our gears and head out driving 1.5 hours and into the mountains towards Fort Davis. Unfortunately the road network was minimal which meant we couldn’t chase the storm that was heading East North East so, having rolled the dice and taken a gamble we trudge back up the interstate 10 towards Fort Stockton with our tails between our legs and, for good measure, get rained on by the main storms little sibling behind it. Disappointment number 2.

The interstate 10 runs parallel to the direction the main storm was taking and it soon becomes clear the storm was going to pass almost directly over our hotel..! Memories of arrival day with the storm doing the chasing come back to haunt us but there isn’t time to be emotional and pensive – we are now in pursuit of the storm again. We position ourselves a couple of miles South East of the hotel and capture some great snaps of the storm passing in front of us…

Pano of Andy taking a picture with the temperamental storm in the background

Pano of Andy taking a picture with the on and off storm in the background

All this driving in circles had made the car dirty so we decided to drive through the core of the storm, purely to clean the car and not for our enjoyment of being rained and hailed on and hoping lightening would hit the nearby posts of course..

Stixx Sports Bar - "Everyone goes there"

Stixx Sports Bar – “Everyone goes there”

We finish the evening at the local and highly recommended ‘Stixx Sports Bar’. During our epic c. 15 games of pool marathon we go through more of those masculine Bud Lights than my fingers can count and witness a clash of cultures; a motor bike gang convene (called ‘Bandido’ as their leather jackets had embossed), a barely pubescent group diving into shots celebrating SATs results, the ‘jock’ with his underarmour flat peak cap, chemically enhanced biceps and tights shorts and finally two brits called Andy and Chris looking anxiously over their shoulders having seen these sort of scenes ending badly in movies.. It doesn’t end badly, ‘One Hand in My Pocket’ by Alanis Morrissette was the catalyst to social interaction and we are befriended by the barely pubescent group who take a fascination in our accents. They invite us for a ‘kickback’, an after party in proper English, which we don’t go to and instead stumble back to our hotel taking in the final few lightening flashes of a storm that just won’t leave the storm chasers alone, isn’t it ironic….

Andy and I with our new friends in Stixx Sports Bar

Andy and I with our new friends in Stixx Sports Bar

Today was a roller coaster of emotion but the main learning point is that all the technology, gizmos and gadgets in the world can’t predict natural phenomena – they truly are an art and not a science, we can guess and predict but never know.

Next Post

Previous Post

© 2024 Andy Cole's Stormchase blog

Theme by Anders Norén