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Friday, April 4, 2014

Pucker Factor

We enjoy having new experiences in our travels in the Journey.  We look forward to the next great thing around the corner.

Last night, not so much.  In fact, it is one experience we hope to never have again.

We were in the Passport America campground near Cape Girardeau, MO.  The campground was a real dive, I already told you about the mud in yesterday’s post.  It was way, way out in the sticks and it was a barely improved place to stay, lots of rutted roads, overhanging trees and bushes jutting out in the roads that we eased slowly by trying not to scratch the sides of the Journey.

It was no wonder we were the only ones there.  It was almost like we were the only survivors on Earth after some cataclysmic event.

When we checked in to the ramshackle office/bar down the road, the lady was very nice and gave us her cell phone number in case we needed anything.

After setting up and dealing with the sewer hose split, we ate supper and relaxed.  Because of the trees, there was no satellite signal possible from our rooftop dome and with the now falling rain, there was no way I was going to venture out and set up the potable dish.

Internet was spotty, so I read on my Kindle while Marti played some games on her iPad.  The rain started coming down so heavily, we could barely hear each other talk as the drops drummed on the roof.


Marti’s iPhone beep a warning.  A tornado was in the vicinity and we were advised to take shelter immediately.

Knowing that trailers (and motorhomes by association) are tornado magnets, we wondered where there was any kind of a shelter.  Marti called the campground lady and was told there was no shelter, but not to worry, they never had been hit with a tornado before.

 Comforting words.

I told Marti that we’d have to sit tight, we had nowhere to go and wait it out.  I tried to alleviate her fears that as long as there was no hail falling while the thunder and lightning crashed right on top of us, we’d be okay.

I tuned in the weather radio and got no encouraging news.  Tornado activity was happening right where we were.  Finally getting on the Internet, the weather radar showed we were right in the box for tornadoes. 

Then the hail started. Enter the pucker factor.

Now, on to Plan B.  Decisions.  Should we stay in the Journey, or should we go out in the storm and lay down in a nearby ditch.

I decided the ditch idea was out because that’s where all the sewage washed down to from our sewer hose.  A tornado may be coming, but I still had my dignity and didn’t want to end up in Oz smelling like a… well, use your imagination.

Of course, we were in a pull thru and I hadn’t disconnected the car so driving somewhere was out, we could just as easily drive into a tornado in the dark.

So we waited it out.  We watched amazing lightning crash all around us.  It was a long couple of hours until the danger passed.  As you can see, we survived, intact.  We never saw or heard any tornado.

As I was sitting there staring out the window at the storm, I kept thinking, “Just my luck.  I finally get the perfect mattress in the Journey and now it’s going to be blown to who knows where?”   

We finally went to bed with rain still falling but not very hard.  This morning we got up real early and pulled out of the campground, having to drive through some streams washing across the campground roads.  Marti said to me “I’ll never complain about stopping at a Walmart again!”

The sun is shining this morning and we’ve stopped at a truck stop for some breakfast.  It’s very, very windy and hopefully the wind will die down.  We’ve only got another couple of hours of driving to get to our destination.  Never a dull moment.  ;c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. I am so glad you guys are okay. I've been worried about a few folks driving through that area. Tornadoes are my very worst fear because there is no where to get away from them unless there is a sturdy bathhouse. Be safe.

  2. Oh my (again!)! Makes Wal-Mart look like a Thousand Trails. Glad that you both are safe this morning.

  3. We have stayed at 3 Passport America - all three were out of the way thereby negating any savings and all three were run down "Trailer Parks." We found Passport America to be useless - also most of them put a limit on the # of nights that are discounted.
    Kind of "you get what you pay for." Just saying.........

  4. Having grown up in the Midwest, this time of year I always make sure to check the campgrounds tornado plans. "It's never happened before' is not good enough for me.

  5. We aren't real fans of Passport America either for the same reasons above. Give me a Wal-Mart, Elks or any place just off the road if we're traveling through. We've been in many of those storms but never in the motorhome and hopefully, that will never happen. Glad you're safe and glad you're out of there!!

  6. Wow - glad you got out of there without any damage. Not sure what we would have done either in a situation like that. Scary.

  7. Welcome to Tornado Alley in the Spring!!! Were still sitting here in OKC and hoping they miss us until we can head out.

  8. Hate storms in the Motorhome. Bummer about the park there are actually some nice ones in Cape G. The landing?

  9. Ok I know what's happened here. Strom is not happy that you have left his campground and he is sending every problem imaginable your way. So glad you guys are OK. I've been in some campgrounds like that and I've been in tornado watches and warnings. But never both. I only had to spend several hours in the cement bathroom. Where are you? Missouri or ?? Safe travels.

    1. more carefully Sherry he's in Missouri. Glad you only have 2 hours to go. I vowed never to go through the midwest in April again after 4 tornado scares in a row as we traveled west in 2011

  10. So glad you are safe!!! Scary stuff...we had our experience right at the place you just left...MODOC!! As for getting in a ditch...I'm with you. I'll take my chances with the Tornado! Now enough is enough...smooth sailing from here on:o))

  11. That was quite the experience ... glad to hear you're safe and sound. We had a few alerts while we were staying on base in Montgomery, AL. It felt good to know that we had a place to go should the sirens go off.

  12. Great RV adventure.....when that situation arises I just break out the Crown Royal and go with the flow:) I enjoy reading your blog.

  13. Glad to hear that you two are ok. You are certainly trying to make up for all of those months sitting in one place.

  14. Thankfully you are safe and your mattress is too. Now you can relax and get some sleep on said mattress.

    I hope you aren't in tornado alley too long.

  15. In 2011 we hurried across the country from Texas through Oklahoma trying to stay ahead of the weather on our way home to Ma. only to have a tornado touch down with devastating results a week after our arrival.

  16. Do glad you made it through that safely! I'm not a fan of traveling in the Midwest in the spring. Storms in the motorhome scare me.

  17. Glad you managed to make it safely through the tornado,We have been in thats situation a few times and possibly again this spring, we just cross our fingers and keep an eye on the weather.

  18. Scary night alright. Not much else you could do except sit tight and hope for the best. I don't think I'd have slept a wink all night.

  19. We call those kind of parks dueling banjo ones. It's bad enough to be in a place like that but add tornado warnings and I would be a very unhappy camper.

    In spite of it all, your humor is priceless: "A tornado may be coming, but I still had my dignity and didn’t want to end up in Oz smelling like a… well." Sure glad you did not end up in Oz.

  20. Glad you two made it safely through the storm. We've had a few moments when tornadoes were in the vicinity and no storm shelter was in sight. "Pucker factor" is right!

  21. Scary stuff! I loved your title. So glad you made it through OK. I just can't imagine no shelter in that situation. Tornado season in that part of the world is just so scary. At least with earthquakes and volcanoes out west we can't predict and have no clue when then are coming. Tornado season I can avoid!!

  22. I know it was a frightening time for you two. Sorry to say, we totally enjoyed your take on the situation. John and I laughed with you as I read the blog to him.

  23. That's got to be about the scariest situation! Glad it all turned out ok.

  24. How frightening! We had an experience like that in Texas one year - not fun.