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Published: June 25th 2017
Geo: 34.9386, -104.682
We left Oklahoma City at 7:45 this morning, still alive and not having experienced any tornados. I had heard on the news that things were brewing up for another round on Tuesday and that made me nervous, but it didn't happen. Phew. It rained hard during the night and there was thunder and lightning, but no tornados. We were on the top floor and it woke us up around 4 AM. And it was still raining hard when we took to the road. I had planned to look for tornado damage heading out of town, but the rain obscured the view. About half an hour down the road, the rain let up and we were able to see evidence of the storms from last Friday. First we saw a lot of debris by the road…parts of road signs and billboards and in the bushes we saw clothing and other stuff we did not identify. And just beyond the trees were 2 buildings that had been reduced to toothpicks. Perhaps the clothing belonged to them. There were a lot of signs down but most of the damage was not within our view.
Eventually the sun came out and it warmed up
and we proceeded west through Oklahoma. The land is very flat and you can see forever. The west side of Oklahoma is crop fields, cattle, oil wells all coexisting in apparent harmony with a wind farm. Or perhaps it was multiple wind farms, because they went on for miles and miles. And the flat land turned to rolling hills…golden fields of grain, green fields of corn, yellow fields of hay, freshly irrigated fields, lots of evergreens, and brick red dirt peeking out of scrubby hillsides. And there were those fences that I found so amusing last year…the ones that are held up by anything and everything…fence posts, crooked tree branches, metal stakes, sticks, boards, broom handles, and apparently whatever is available, all mixed together. And the names of the small towns changed from the Indian sounding names on the east side of Oklahoma, to familiar sounding names on the west. And there were no more casinos.
Around 10 AM it was like we suddenly passed through a warp. We crossed over to Texas and the crop farms became ranches…the land became scrubby, rutty prairie with cattle. We drove through the panhandle of Texas, through Amarillo and on to New Mexico.
We saw a small tornado running along in the same direction as we were going, about 500 yards from the road, tossing up a cloud of red dirt, and we passed it. We figured it was moving at about 40 miles an hour.
New Mexico gave us mesas and plateaus and craters and gorges in the ground, yellow grass, and silver green plants dotting the hillsides. And I checked New Mexico off my list. Been there.
We stopped in Santa Rosa for the night. Santa Rosa is a town right out of the 50's. It was an oasis in the dessert on the old Route 66. And much of it has not been updated from time back then. We drove around to take in the sights. We visited the Blue Hole where the water is 81 feet deep and kids dive off the rocks and into the pool which is a constant 61 degrees. And Santa Rosa has a lake, about the size of a Solivita retention pond…well maybe a little bigger, but blue and clear, and the town's little cool spot in the middle of the desert. And we explored the golf course, which was no Grey Hawk, but a
course carved out of the desert and played by the locals.
When we got back to our room, it began to storm. The wind was strong, and the rain poured down as we worked on plans for our time in California.
Tot: 2.316s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 11; qc: 53; dbt: 0.0452s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb