After our stay in Hot Springs, Deas and I were set to head further west by driving through Oklahoma. We were packing up the RV that morning, when the very nice camp host knocked on our door and told us we might want to reconsider our course, because there was severe weather predicted in Oklahoma. We checked the weather reports and decided to play it safe, so we headed on a more southwest route into Texas. We spent one night at Cooper Lake State park, which was pretty quiet and uneventful, other than the rattlesnake and scorpion we saw within 30 minutes of arrival. We also left with some unwanted souvenirs – chigger bites. Ugh.
The next day we headed west again, towards Wichita Falls. We stopped in McKinney and had a really good lunch at Hutchin’s BBQ. I checked my phone and that’s when we learned about the terrible tornadoes in Oklahoma. We were so grateful for the park host that told us to head a different direction, and so sad to hear about all the damage and loss of life. And we were now paying very close attention to the weather.
We left McKinney and as we neared Bowie on our way to Wichita Falls, the skies started to darken around us. We checked the radar, and saw a big storm looming up behind us, and also one right ahead of us. As I continued to watch, the storms were getting closer and closer together. The skies were getting darker, and the wind was getting stronger. With images of Oklahoma fresh on my mind, I
suggested demanded that Deas pull over. We saw a Wal-Mart up ahead, and as we pulled into the parking we saw a few employees running around and pulling carts and plants inside the store. We pulled up alongside the building and hoped for the best. I’m not going to lie – it was very scary, and I may or may not have had tears in my eyes. The wind was blowing wildly, and it was hailing and raining like crazy. Luckily, it blew through pretty quickly and ended. I got out and walked around to the front of the store, and an employee told me that the wind was so strong that it had blown open and broken the front doors!
We decided to stay put for another hour or so to watch the weather, and since the air was now cooler, we opened a few windows. I lowered the screen to open the window by my seat, but as soon as I touched it, the window slid and down and shattered into a thousand pieces!! Just like that. So now we were stuck in a Wal-Mart parking lot missing a window. Double ugh.
After a call to our insurance company, Deas was able to fashion a temporary window covering out of cardboard and gorilla tape. He’s pretty handy, that husband of mine. Since it was getting late we decided to sleep in the Wal-Mart parking lot that night.
We had previously made reservations at Caprock Canyon State Park in Quitaque, TX for the next few days, and we really wanted to keep them. So after checking the weather yet again, we decided we could make it as long as we headed straight west, as there were storms north of us. We rode along the very bottom edge of a storm for about 2 hours. We had lots of wind and a few minutes of rain here and there, but successfully manged to avoid a bad storm yet again.
We pulled into Caprock Canyon and were greeted by a herd full of bison! Now we were just hoping for a few days of nice weather….