Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Lunch in Austin and Tornados

I was late getting out of Austin and I had entered Jean's number incorrectly in my phone so I wasn't even able to warn them. I got to Jason's Deli on the boarder of Austin and Round Rock around 3pm. Jean and Jeanne were waiting there for me. We placed our food order right away and then sat and visited. It was wonderful to see them both again. I originally met Jean in June 2006 when her family was on vacation in the Northwest and made a stop in Vancouver. I met up with her there and we went for dinner. Jeanne was at the Retreat in Black Rock, Pennsylvania in November 2006. We had a nice relaxed time and at about five o'clock I got back on the road. The first picture is Jean and I. The second one is Jeanne and I.
(This picture is exactly where I35 splits into I35 East and I35 West
Because I had left San Antonio late, I was late leaving Austin. I wasn't too worried though because I was making a point of avoiding Dallas rush hour. The drive from Austin to Dallas was quite pretty. Traffic was heavyish but that kept it interesting. I didn't get a spectacular sunset but there was some colour in the Western sky. I kept in touch with Sherilyn and she posted the following on HSS at 5:23pm

Well, just got off the phone with Heidi. She is past the fork where I35 splits (I35W goes to Ft. Worth, I35E goes to Dallas). I don't know how far on it she is, but she hadn't hit rain, so I can guess looking at the radar. The storms ahead of her have passed by, but there is one to the southwest I'm watching. I hope she can beat it and slide in right between the two. The one to the southwest has a tornado sighted near Brownwood.

And an update at 5:41pm

Whew! I think she may hit some severe rain, but according to the NWS the tornado warning behind her is gone and it looks like she'll make it through without trouble...hopefully there are no blockages on I35 from debris. We were going to take 183 across to Fort Worth, but since the tornado seems to have gone right down 183, I guess I should see if they have any road trouble there. I'm so glad I don't have to call her and tell her what to do if she is driving and sees a tornado...... I was trying to avoid that.

I was trying to take pictures of the blue bonnets on the side of the highway. Most of my pictures just turned out as blurs like this one.

What I didn't tell Sherilyn was that after I hung up with her the second time, the sky got DARK! That freaked me out a bit. It wasn't green though so I just kept driving. Dallas was eeirly quiet. I was scanning radio stations and one guy was giving all the helpful tips of what to do if the tornado comes close to you. I chose NOT to listen to him because he was just stressing me out.

Ginger also called at one point during my trip to check up on me. I admit that driving through tornados in Texas wasn't my idea of a fun time but I guess it was authentic Texas spring :)

Getting through Dallas was fine. I had one little hiccup where I decided I wanted to pass a semi and ended up in a late that split left. I just took the next exit, headed back East to I35E and got back on though.

I arrived at Sherilyn's at we pretty much headed over to Fort Worth right away. All tornado activity had subsided by that point, or at least headed East. We did see the emergency vehicles in Haltom City where the twister touched down. The next morning I got pictures of the damage. Billboards ripped apart and a few builings that lost their roofs.

I'll put our Fort Worth experience in a seperate post.


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