First thing is first. This whole chasebeard bandwagon thing Ryan is trying to jump onto has to come to an end and an end right quick.
I have the chasebeard. End of discussion. I started it. I can grow a beard (and not look like I’m 14 wishing I could shave) and I know, Ryan knows, everyone knows, the only reason we went all supercellular Tuesday night was because of MY chasebeard. So, please, lets just stop calling Ryan’s 7 day stubble a “chasebeard”. Lets reserve such accolades as “having a chasebeard” for the guy with the chasebeard.
Second, life of a wheelman is hard work. You become one with the wheel, the seat, the combos crumbs. Sunburn on your left elbow. Temperature controls are squirrley and then your riding partner tells you that “we have to double back through the storm and get in front of it in Custer.” Yeah – right? CUSTER!!
The storms we chased on Tuesday night were fantastic. They lacked the tornado punch that we had hoped to see, but at the end of the day we chased a couple severe storms through the Thunder Basin National Grassland. Who else gets to say that? The car took a bit of a beating but we got out of it with no damage or dings – the wheelman’s concerns.
After we moved off the first storm and took off towards the back end of the second storm we got a great view of how dark the sky actually gets. It was about 645/7pm, still quite sunny in eastern WY, and as we were bombing down Rt. 16, south of Upton, I took this shot.
The ultimate “things are closer than they appear” shot. This is what a wheelman worries about. Ryan was busy on his computer working on his Farm in Farmville and inviting you to this Mafia. (Kidding)
The ride through the core of the storm, in the Black Hills, down and up winding, tight roads with hairpin turns while being pelted with hail and gusty winds was less than ideal. It’s what I imagine re-entry in like in the space shuttle…probably exactly the same.
This is our final day on this trip. Unless, ironically, our flight is cancelled into BDL due to weather. After playing some trivia at a bar in Old Towne (Yeti Bar) last night (team CTChase finished 5th out of 14) we are moving a little slower than we have on previous mornings of this trip. Nevertheless, we are up and going and off to Denver to catch a Rockies game in the smoke and then the airport for a flight home.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect on this trip – but it has been beyond my expectations. We’ve seen some of the great sights this country has to offer and have traversed (1900 miles/35hrs) a region many people don’t ever get to see. Not to mention, staring down the barrel of a giant shelf cloud in the Thunder Basin National Grassland.
For those of you who come to this site for weather stuff – thanks for letting me crash it for a couple of days. Ryan will be back shortly and ya’ll can say things like “bow echo” and “shelf cloud” while arguing about GmZ and HRQzzz radars.
Thanks to Ryan for letting me guest post and for never offering to drive. That was cool too.