“Don’t You People Have Anything Better to Do?”

Storm Chasing with Steve Carey

The first Campo, Colorado tornado begins as a funnel cloud

Soon after the funnel appeared, the tornado is on the ground

An unusual photo capture of the Campo tornado and rainbow

My last chase day began in North Platte, Nebraska and ended in Denver, Colorado where I began my two-week storm chasing adventure.  Today’s target area was eastern Colorado, and by late afternoon storms began to fire along a north-south line east of the Rocky Mountain Front Range.   We chased a High Plains storm east of Denver.  While in pursuit, we left paved roads and traveled along miles of dirt roads in basically empty countryside.   One unpaved county road looked much like any other, and eventually we stopped at an intersection of two dirt roads to watch the storm.  After a few minutes, I noticed a pick-up truck heading in our direction at high speed.  As the pick-up neared, the driver slammed on his brakes (I thought he was going to slide off the road into a ditch) and jumped out of the truck screaming at us about being on private property.   Mind you, we were not blocking “his” road, nor were there any No Trespassing or Private Property signs posted.   We thought we had pulled off along another county road, and were just off the “main” road we had been travelling.   The 30-something guy was furious and kept repeating we were on private property and we had to leave–now!  We said we didn’t realize we were on private property, and we were just watching the storm develop to which he replied while throwing his arms in the air “Don’t you people have anything better to do?”  Actually, at that moment we didn’t, but our Poster Child for Anger Management was in no mood for apologies and we defused a tense situation by leaving. Pulling off the main road a  short distance away, we continued to watch the developing storm in peace while bewildered over this person’s bizarre behavior.

After a promising start, our storm began to fizzle and turn into a mostly rain event.  On our drive back to Denver, we noticed significant accumulations of hail along the roadside produced by a different storm.

There was noting notable to photograph today, so I’m attaching several more photos of the first tornado we saw on May 31.  Photos and video of this tornado made international news, but no one was closer to it than we.

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One comment on ““Don’t You People Have Anything Better to Do?”

  1. Glenn Geise says:

    Reminds me of the time we were in Colorado on a public gravel road. We were watching a rotating wall cloud over an adjacent field when an old pickup truck came sliding to a halt near us. A woman jumped out and started walking down the line of Storm Chasers chewing them out along the way. I was shooting pics and had my eye in the viewfinder when her face appeared inside. She had stopped in front of me and was giving me a verbal thrashing. She told me she didn’t want us there and we were not welcome, so to get our butts out of there. She said everytime you people come around we end up having a tornado so stay the hell away from here. Then she bolted for her truck and told us she was going for her shotgun. Best I could figure, it was her field of near harvest crops and her house down at the end of that field and she was just plain scared beyond reason. I kept quiet, but wanted to tell her, I wish it was that simple…just show up and get a tornado.

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