I can understand most acts of God.
If you live somewhere as beautiful as Key West or any other Caribbean island you might have to pay the price of dealing with a hurricane now and again.
If you live in Hawaii, there’s the occasional volcano.
If you live in the rugged outdoorsness of the West, there’s the occasional forest fire.
If you live in Santa Carla, there’s the “damn vampires” that need dealt with now and again.
But explain tornadoes to me.
What are the peaceful folks of the Midwest paying for? The majestical flatness? Sweeping fields of corn? Low cost of living? It doesn’t make sense. Until now.
Enter Silver lining Tours: Are you ready for the atmospheric adventure of a lifetime?
Do you get giddy at the thought of hunting down nature’s most awesome storms in the heart of Tornado Alley?
Do you want to view amazing tornadoes, jaw-dropping storm structures and dazzling lightning displays from safe vantage points while learning all about these spectacles?
Do you want to be guided on a severe weather intercept expedition by some of the world’s best storm chasers?
If the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes”, visit our Tour Schedule page and begin planning your Atmospheric Adventure of a Lifetime today!
Maybe Tornadoes aren’t the risk of the “reward” of living in the Midwest. Maybe they aren’t Acts of God, but, in fact, Gifts of God that bring tourists from around the world for a glimpse of mother nature’s cruel irony.
The tourists have to suffer long car rides and perhaps the scariest thing of all, a diet of fast food. That’s right, Tornado tourism is like going on a summer road trip with your father who won’t stop the car for you to pee because he’s making great time on the way to the Giant Wheel of Cheese in Wisconsin and wants to get the disappointment over as quickly as possible so he can get home and back to work.
It’s like that except you might be killed. On second thought…they are pretty much the same.
When I was a teenager with too little homework, a driver’s license, and a head full of stupid ideas, I went storm chasing.
My cousin Brice was visiting from Illinois. The Tornado warning interrupted a rerun of ALF.
“Hey, man,” I said, “Do you know what we should do?”
If that phrase is uttered by a male under the age of 21, run the other way.
“Dude, be quiet,” Brice said. “I think ALF might get the cat this time.”
“We should totally see if we can chase down the tornado,” I said. “I’ve never seen one before.”
Brice tore himself away from ALF, I grabbed the keys and hollered, “Brice and I are going tornado chasing” to my mom as we walked out the door.
“Okay,” Mom said, apparently not paying attention, just like the time she gave me permission to eat an entire stick of butter like a candy bar when I was five. “Be back for dinner.”
We scanned the radio for weather reports and drove in the direction of the action. When we arrived where the action was supposed to be there was no action. It was a major let down. The skies were clear enough for a game of croquet.
“Bummer,” Brice said.
“Yep, let’s turn around.”
And that’s when we drove into the heart of the storm.
Gusts of wind pushed us back and forth over the center line. The rain came down so hard it was like we were underwater and the black Blazer we rode in was a submarine.
The hail was hell.
I pulled over because the world was invisible. The truck shook. The gusts penetrated the cracks in the rusty Blazer and ruffled our hair. We didn’t say anything because it was pointless. We sat in a raging river of white noise. I never told Brice this, but I wanted to be held. I wanted my mommy. I wanted to be sitting in a recliner at home seeing if ALF finally ate Lucky the cat.
If there was a tornado, we weren’t able to see it.
When the storm passed, I put the truck into gear and we rode home in silence.
There’s a big difference between storm chasing and storm finding.
You won’t see me on a Tornado Tour anytime soon. Instead, enjoy this clip…