After weighing ourselves on the trucker scale across from Bundy’s house, we set out for Morganfield. It was a busy and narrow road, so the day was spent “on our toes” riding offensively and listening for traffic. We spent the night with an acquaintance of Keith’s, so it was nice to have our hosts expecting us. John and Sue stuffed us silly, gave us a generous price on an identical shock collar to the one we are borrowing, and even helped us get ready to go in the morning.
We had turned southeast onto 56 yesterday, and as we continued on that road, we rode through a little community that a twister had passed through a couple days earlier. We had heard about the tornado but we didn’t know what to expect. What we saw was just plain unbelievable and jaw-dropping. We found out from someone in their yard that it was an F2, but it looked like a path cut by the finger of God. (not that we are inferring He did this) But the destruction was… wow. All the plants were torn out, including the full grown trees, and silos that had once been on the south side of the road were a crumpled and shredded wreck in a crop field on the north side of the road. There were pieces of debris everywhere- everything from a whole silo to tiny bits of who could guess what. We were amazed at how shredded- not just blown over, crumpled, and moved- but shredded too- everything was! Metal, wood, house walls, everything literally looked like it went through a shredder. As we rode through in silent awe, we thought that of all the natural disasters, this has got to be the scariest. Richard grew up with earthquakes and he says they seem mild in comparison; they come quick but rarely cause much damage, and rarer still, kill people. Where we live now, the winters are cold and can kill a person, but a bad storms have warning and a little planning and common sense will keep you safe. Hurricanes, while they are as dangerous- have warning. We continued our ride past the tornado’s path and saw a house that had just the front walls still in place. The path of the tornado was about 200 yards wide and went in a relatively straight line as far as we could see. Everything in its path was completely destroyed, but on either side of its path, all was well. As we looked through the back side of the garage, we could see the clouds building and looking ominous. The weather forecast for the night was once again- severe thunder storms.
A few miles down the road we came to a turn on our map, but it was labeled “Dead End.” We were concerned if we were reading the map wrong so we stopped for directions. Apparently, the road had been blocked by private landowners and was still legally passable, but deep with mud. We ended up camping in the field owned by the couple, and while we set up our tent in an old barn, and we could see the clouds starting to roll in. Mary Katherine invited us over for cereal and showers and promised that she’d call us if there were tornado warnings. That night was crazy, we got a light show I’m sure neither Jeannette or I will soon forget. I usually sleep very well when it storms and tonight was no exception. But I was woken up around 1am by Jeannette and Bella moving around alot. Jeannette finally confessed, “Bella was scared.” As the flashes of light were almost blinding and the thunder was very close, I asked her if it was just Bella that was scared. So I held them both for nearly an hour to calm them as we sat awake and watched the huge storm role by. I was quite fascinated with the beauty of it, but thankful we had the meager shelter of an old barn that kept most the rain off, though we felt sorry for our horses that were pelted by torrential downpours and hail. I checked my phone to see if there were any tornado warnings. Thankfully, there were none as our closest shelter was down the road at the farm owners’ home. It was about 2:30 am when the storm finally passed and we could go back to sleep. We would no doubt be tired in the morning.