That’s all folks

The last week in the Great Plains was different than I expected. I went expecting to have an extension of our class time, but it ended up being so much more than I could have hoped for. It was so much fun to be able to go around and go site seeing as well as look for storms. We saw places of America that the majority of people never see.
Also living like a nomad was liberating and exciting (although I would not want to do that my whole life).
But above all of that, what I am the most thankful for is the relationships I built while on the trip. The friendships we developed are on such a deeper level than most of the ones I have had all year to develop.
The big question that everyone has asked me has been “Are you disappointed that you didn’t see any tornadoes?”
My answer to that has to be no. While it would have been fun to see some, I wouldn’t trade the time I had to bond with my team for anything else. And for me, I saw what I went to see, and that was to see God’s power displayed. I expected it to be in the storms and the natural wonders that we saw, and yet, while it was in those things, the area that it was most prominently displayed was in the lives of my team members. They might not know it, but they really changed me more than they could ever know, and it was exactly what I needed.

Today’s the day, I live for one thing, to give You praise in everything I do, all the praise goes out to You

Day Seven
Today we started our last day of chase mode. We set out looking for a last great storm. We drove back into Oklahoma today and followed several cloud formations that looked promising. We did a lot of driving and a lot of sitting and waiting, but in the end, no actual tornadoes. One thing we did get to do was sound time sealing the bond that we have forged this week with our team, and I praise God for that. These are relationships that will not end with the end of this week. I am so thankful for the deep level we were able to get to know everyone on this week. In fact, I think we might know each other a little too well. We were all pretty much at the point of delirium on the way back tonight. Now we are back at the first hotel in Amarillo getting everything set for our flight in the morning.

Chase Mode! Chase Mode! Chase Mode!


Day Six
Yesterday we continued in chase mode. We got up, filled up, and filed out. We went to Greensberg, Kansas. Greensberg is a town that was hit by a tornado a few years ago and completely wiped out. They started rebuilding immediately and when they did they decided to go completely green and design the city exactly as they wanted. It was incredible to see how fast the community has bounced back and grown together. Those of us that have family or were personally effected by the tornadoes in north Alabama were encouraged by the words of hope that the townspeople had to offer.
After exploring the town for a little we got back on the road. We headed toward a promising area.
In the late afternoon, we saw a beautiful supercell that had great potential to produce something exciting. It never actually produced a tornado that we saw, but it was absolutely gorgeous and a wonderful testament to how great and powerful God is. On our drive back to the hotel it got a little scary because we had to go from chase mode to flee mode. In the end, we made it back safely and got a restful night’s sleep and prepared for a full day ahead.

Chase mode! Chase mode!

Day Five
Today we drove from Childress, Texas into Oklahoma in search of severe weather that could support tornadoes, so the first part of the day was spent by driving. In the late afternoon we drove a little SE of Woodward, OK to an area that looked promising. We followed the development of a cloud from formation to dissipation. It was incredible to see how fast it moved and changed. Once it started moving, it completely changed in a matter of minutes. Even though, we didn’t see any tornadoes yet, we did get to see some things that we need to watch out for. Now we are getting into position in Kansas to continue chasing tomorrow.

Day Five

Day Five
Today we drove from Childress, Texas into Oklahoma in search of severe weather that could support tornadoes, so the first part of the day was spent by driving. In the late afternoon we drove a little SE of Woodward, OK to an area that looked promising. We followed the development of a cloud from formation to dissipation. It was incredible to see how fast it moved and changed. Once it started moving, it completely changed in a matter of minutes. Even though, we didn’t see any tornadoes yet, we did get to see some things that we need to watch out for. Now we are getting into position in Kansas to continue chasing tomorrow.

On The Road Again, I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Day Four
Today was a more relaxed day than the past. We basically just did a lot of driving. We woke up and got a hearty breakfast at Denny’s then got on the road. We stopped for a few minutes at the Sand Hills park then got back on the road. We drove a while longer to Odessa, Texas to look at the Meteor crater for a few minutes then got back on the road. Really, the entire day almost was spent in the van, although we did get a lot closest with everyone on our team. Now we are in Childress, Texas for the night and getting ready to go into chase mode tomorrow.

Sunset in south NM

Let’s Get Physical!

Day Three
Today we went back to the Carlsbad Caverns to walk through the caverns because they were already closed when we got there yesterday. Walking through the caverns and seeing all the incredible geological structures was one of the most truly awe-inspiring experiences of my life. As a kid we used to go to Desoto Caverns, but I was too young to understand the significance of it and the size of Desoto compared to Carlsbad is nothing. Seeing all the magnificent rock formations made me think of in the Bible where it talks about how even the rocks will cry out to God if we don’t. After seeing all these beautiful rocks that God has created, whether above or below ground, wouldn’t God rather have them sing praises to Him than us. They are so beautiful and we are so filthy, and yet He Loves us enough to be patient. That is just something that I have been thinking about today.
After Carlsbad, we stopped and ate in White’s City where we will be staying tonight. After lunch, we drove back into Texas to the Guadalupe mountain range where we went on a “half mile hike”. Apparently we didn’t turn around where we should have in order for it to be half a mile and we ended up going all the way around the circle. When we got back to the trailhead, the sign said it was a 2.3 mile hike, but it definitely felt longer. On our drive over to Guadalupe, our car was hit by a dust devil and you could feel it move the car which was pretty cool.
After we got back and got everyone rehydrated, we drove to the other side of the mountains to look at the Salt Flats. While we were there, we saw another dust devil, a very large one actual. A few of our team members had the brilliant idea to lick the ground (granted Mr. Carey told them to taste it). Needless to say, it was very salty. Pictures were definitely taken and will be kept forever.
All in all, I believe we hiked about five miles today.
Now we are headed back to Carlsbad for dinner then for much needed sleep.