Thunderstorms in South Dakota

Dear Sensenigs,

Today is our 4-month nomadiversary! This means we’re still learning a lot. You know we’re from California originally, with a 2-year stay in the Seattle area; what this means is that we have little-to-no experience with REAL weather. Yes, it rains a lot in Seattle, but it’s like a drizzly sort of rain everyone participates in sans umbrellas, not a pounding rain from which to hide. And on the California coast growing up, I think we had a couple of bolts of lightning once every three years or so.

Well this week we experienced our first CRAZY middle-of-the-continent thunderstorm in South Dakota. WOW! It was loud! I’m sure the sounds are amplified in the RV. . .rain on the roof of a car is always a pretty cool sound, but it seems much louder in our home-on-wheels. And the thunder literally shook the whole place. Thane loved it and was sorry when the show ended, but Gwynnie was in bed with me and Emrys had a hat on to muffle the sounds.

So new-to-us chores must now include learning about SAME Codes and programming our NOAA weather radio (how do you know if it’s working correctly?? It’s not beeping at me because there’s not an emergency, but I worry that I can’t trust it if it’s not warning me about some impending doom) and keeping the weather apps open continuously. This area was under a flood watch and there’s a cute little stream out in back; Abe walked down there to see how much we needed to worry, with 3 inches of rain expected overnight. By the morning, the creek was at the top of the bank, but we are still up a hill and will be fine. There was a tornado warning just to the south of us, and I am deathly afraid of the idea of tornados – Californians don’t DO tornados – and we’ve never been so close to those red boxes on the weather map. Eek! I can’t even imagine what types of things we will continue to learn and experience as Winter unfolds!


Luckily this creek will stay within its banks!

Luckily this creek will stay within its banks!

Yesterday afternoon, 25mph winds blew the last of the clouds away, and this morning it’s sunny and gorgeous. We’re heading into Rapid City to go to a museum and do some vegetable shopping, and tomorrow will finally go out to see Mount Rushmore. It’s supposed to get down to 26 degrees overnight, so we’ll have to put our Reflectix in all the windows (it helps a lot!), and fleece over the doorway in the bunkhouse, which is barely insulated. What’s that about? This is a four-seasons coach, but the bunkhouse – designed for sleeping humans – is drafty and basically open to the elements, but the master bedroom is a “normal” room. The Conspiracist in me worries that this situation is another example of anti-child corporate behavior, since the assumption is that it’s “only” kids sleeping back there, but adults in the master should be protected from temperature extremes. The Sleeper in me worries that she’ll be cold tonight, since – even though I’m an adult *gasp* – I’m sleeping in the bunkhouse! LOL! I’m sure we’ll be fine. Just more RVing idiosyncrasies to love.

Joyful journeys to you!

One Comment

  1. steve says:

    Kelli, thanks for the fun letter! We hope to be able to respond in turn very soon, but I wanted to respond to this one quickly!

    We experienced a very strong wind, hard driving rain, tornado warning kind of storm a few months ago in Nebraska. I’m not a fan of the middle part of the country as a result! I spent most of the evening and into the night snuggling with Hannah trying to console and calm her. It’s always fun to try to calm a child when inside you’re scared yourself.

    Glad to hear things are brightening up a bit. We’re enjoying very beautiful fall leaves here in eastern TN at the moment. 🙂

    steve 🙂