Thursday, April 14, 2011

From The Good Life - There's a Tornado Coming!

Last Fall I blogged about some of our camping adventures. Camping is great...except for one or two things. Sleeping on the ground, even if it is on an aero bed, it's still not like sleeping in a regular bed. It's really hard to get up off the ground in the mornings. Also, you can't regulate the temperature in a tent, unless the weather is just perfect, it's either hot or cold.

We've been keeping our eye out for a used camper! A few weeks ago on the way to the winery in St. Paul, Nebraska we passed a small used car and rv lot and decided to stop. We were greeted by an elderly gentleman named Joe. We told Joe we were looking for a used Class C camper. He said oh do I have a "beauty" for you. Tim and I both just looked at each other. The beauty he had for us really was a beauty. The camper is a mint condition 1982 Fleetwood Jamboree. It's almost like it's been frozen in time for the past 30 years. The interior colors are retro and I mean that in a good way. After doing some research, we decided this was a deal too good to pass up.

Joe, who reminded me of my own father, has had his dealer's license longer than anyone else in the country, 60 some years. He was a wonderful reminder of times gone by (yes, I am dating myself here). Joe is an honest, hard working gentleman, who as it turns out is 91 years old. He told us he's going to retire this year. I think it's about time!

Last weekend, we went on our first camping adventure. Our destination was Lewis and Clark State Park in Onawa, Iowa. The forecast was for a humid and warm Saturday. For those of you who aren't from the midwest, warm and humid spells the chance of tornadoes. Tim and I had just finished dinner when the wind started to pick up. The clouds were swirling. I could tell by the way Tim was watching the sky, he didn't think it looked good. Just to the west of us maybe a quarter of a mile, was the start of a tornado. So what do you do when you're camping and there's a tornado? Most of the buildings at Lewis and Clark were still closed. There was a restroom but it wasn't real close and I knew I couldn't run fast enough to get there. At this point, we were just hoping it would go the other way. Luckily for us, it did. We watched it travel down the side of the lake, over mainly open land. Once we realized we were going to be okay, we grabbed the camera and started shooting.

Check out the guy in the boat, seriously?

Certainly a camping experience, Tim and I won't soon forget. Let's hope the stories I share the rest of the summer don't include any tornadoes.


  1. That is really scary! But you did get some amazing shots! Glad you were able to get such a nice camper, Joe sounds sweet :) Enjoy your camper.

  2. You deal with tornadoes, I deal with bears! We love our RV and it is a 2000 in great shape. It's got stereo, down comforters, and all the comforts of home. We bought it after a moose kicked our tent and scared the sheema out of us!!!!

    I'm happy the tornado roared by and look forward to more amazing shots, thanks Time, and lots of summer trips!

  3. That camper really is awesome. I agree, it looks like it was frozen in time. How cool! Joe sounds precious, too. I wish him well in his retirement! :) The tornado definitely seems too close for comfort! I remember seeing those on the news! Glad you're safe!

  4. What an incredible experience for you. Thank goodness it went the other way!

  5. Wow, love your pics (and glad you're safe)! We love to camp, although we're in a tent right now. Would love to get off the ground one day. Enjoy!

  6. Oh wow. We actually lived at the lake when I was a kid. You can really get a good view of the storms that go through! I can't believe the guy in the boat didn't try to get off the water!

    Congrats on your camper. Sounds like it will be a fun summer!


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