Yes, that’s hail. About two inches of nickle-size ice balls fell from the sky and pummeled Cloud 9, just outside of Buffalo, Wyoming.We considered it the state’s parting gift. Fortunately, after several minutes of pelting, we were able to pull off the interstate highway and right into a truck wash bay for protection, so we avoided any major damage to the trailer’s aluminum skin (and to our tow vehicle’s exterior). But for a few harrowing moments, we were mulling over the process of making an insurance claim, arranging for repairs, thinking about spending an extended period of time without our weekend getaways.
Besides tornadoes and lightning, hail is probably the biggest fear of Airstreamers, especially when they’re out on the open road where there’s no place to shelter. Having survived the hail stones, we entered the “stoner state” of Colorado, where marijuana sales have added billions to the state’s coffers since its legalization in 2014. We were actually shocked to see so many dispensaries located along the interstate, with easy off and on access. Let’s just say there’s reason to believe that a good number of drivers in Colorado may be impaired by marijuana use.
As we drove past Colorado Springs, we had other concerns on our minds. The National Weather Service issued a warning about severe storms that had the potential to produce tennis-ball size hail. Moreover, the alert warned, the storm’s straight-line winds, lightning and hail would injure people and animals. Needless to say, we pressed the pedal to the metal to outrun the powerful storm that bore down upon us.
Finally, having dealt with storm delays and traffic, we finally arrived at our Ratón, New Mexico destination, grateful to have successfully avoided the worst that Mother Nature had to offer. It made for a late-night Date Night, but a grilled rib-eye, charred asparagus, and crispy potato wedges never tasted so good!
And we had no clue about what awaited us the next morning!