A note from Caryn's husband Roger: Caryn has been VERY busy lately searching for MORE horses, believe it or not!!! Soooo, her page hasn't been updated for quite awhile. Hopefully as we approach the 2009 chase and horse showing season, she will update it again! Stay tuned!!!
"Where's the horses?! Let's get married!"
Famous words as heard on the afternoon of June 24, 2003.
My first EVER tornado experience came on the afternoon of June 24, 2003. Driving tour van #1 with my (not yet) husband Roger, we encountered 16 awesome tornadoes. Including the breath taking, larger than life F4 located in Manchester, SD. I will soon give you my version of what it's like to encounter not only one, but SIXTEEN of natures most unpredictable phenomenon's!
If you have purchased Roger's 2003 high lights tape, you will have somewhat of an idea where the above phrase, "Where's the horses? Let's get married!" came from. The tornado pictured behind me was my first time ever witnessing such an impressive act of Mother Nature and needless to say, I was feeling quit excited about the encounter! This particular tornado was seen in Woonsocket, SD and was the first of 16 for the day! Having any unbiased opinion, I must say Roger knows his stuff and treated us all to a day that none of us will forget. Some say it will be their career chase day. I say I want more!!!
I never really understood what Roger meant by, "you just know when "it's" going to happen". After driving for tour 5 and not having the luck I was hoping we would, it sure gave me time to learn the lingo that Roger and all storm chasers alike use when forecasting severe weather. I also learned about the "ingredients" it takes to make up the severe weather needed to produce a tornado of any size. I was totally fascinated by these ingredients but soon learned, even when all is right and you have all of those ingredients, things can still go bust. That wasn't the case on June 24. I to could feel "it" and I could see "it" in Rogers eyes. The glances I was receiving from him while driving north (rather quickly I might add) out of O'Neil, Nebraska, just added fuel to the ol' gas pedal! Remaining calm for the safety of our passengers was always my #1 priority. But the feeling I felt when I got my first glance of that ever fascinating tornado in Mitchell, SD, was and still is beyond explanation. Even though we weren't close enough for a "close encounter", it still gave me a feeling I will never forget. I was in total awe! Not long after the Mitchell tornado dissipated, did we come upon the Woonsockett tornado. It's when Roger said we were going to get up close and personal with this one, did I fear for our passengers lifes. JUST KIDDING!!! I still remained calm which I think was more from the total respect that I soon gained when we turned on to Rt. 14 in Woonsockett. The result as you can see from the picture above is worth the 1000 words it speaks.
After encountering the Woonsockett tornado, I was totally satisfied and thinking, "OK, that wasn't so bad. In fact, THAT WAS AWESOME!" Knowing that seeing the far-away Mitchell and the "up close and personal" Woonsockett tornados should have been called a good day, it was in NO way going to end there. Roger still had "that look" in his eye as I kept driving SAFELY along and thinking to myself, "what could possibly top that?"