Cyclone Road


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Photos coming soon, he said, but then he went to Europe! I can definitely mark my changing relationship with chasing by how long it takes to post tornado photos these days, especially from a great event like May 22. The problem was that after chasing that week I came home to Texas and handled dozens of errands before packing for a two week overseas vacation/research trip. Starting June 1, I spent nine days in London and five in Paris, so now I have a couple hundred more images to sort, edit, and process. But with school out and summer in full swing it shouldn't take much longer.

In Europe, I felt like I was missing hundreds of tornadoes every day, from the various Facebook status updates and pics. The Baca tornado from 5-31 was breathtaking. Still I never felt the tug of panic about missing these events like I would have ten years ago---or even five, for that matter. A friend and I talked about this recently, about how the longer you chase the less you feel gutted by a missed chase here or there; it's the same thing chaser vets have reported for decades. For me it's a combination of having seen quite a few tornadoes over the years now and the fairly secure knowledge that, barring some unforeseen circumstance, I could see many more before I'm done. The long drives aren't as self-evidently entertaining as they were and the lack of a regular chase partner amplifies the boredom, on the way home from a bust especially. Most of all I realized that traveling to other places on our globe is every bit as thrilling, and late May or early June is often the best time to go. The weather in England and France was fantastic: mid 70's to low 60's, mostly clear skies, and luckiest of all very little rain. I had a blast!

Enough about the trip though. I'll post the vacation pics here, hopefully before the week's out. I have one more brief research trip upcoming, to the Huntington Library in southern California, toward the end of the month or early July. I intend to have all my outstanding tornado and vacation photography polished and posted before then.

To my chaser brothers and sisters still on the road (next few days don't look too bad at all!), best of luck and happy hunting!

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