July 18, 2013

GART Report #2: GART vs. Mother Nature

It's been a long time since I've done a GART (Great American Road Trip), and there's one aspect of such a trip that I forgot about.  One that is completely unavoidable.

You will spend insane amounts of time cooped up in a car.

It will test your sanity.  It will test your digestive system (Taco Bell for the 5th time, anyone?).  It will test your ability to deal with grandmas driving in the left lane.  It will test your lower back.  It's like Survivor, but much less exciting.

It will also test your ability to handle Mother Nature.  When bad weather hits at home, it's pretty easy to deal with - just don't go outside.  Stay in the house and whip out a book.  Stay at work and see what new cat pictures have been posted on the internet.  Stay at happy hour just another, well, hour.  But when you're on the interstate with 7 hours of driving ahead of you and dadgum it, you're going to DISNEY WORLD the next morning, there is no hunkering down.  It is you vs. rain vs. those turdmonkey drivers that don't have their lights on and are STILL driving in the left lane.

We were apparently on Mother Nature's black list while tooling around the southeast US.  After we left Alabama for Orlando, it rained.  It poured on us for 4 straight hours.  This is after it had already been been raining on us for 4 straight days.  I would have given up a perfectly good appendage just to see some sunshine and turn the windshield wipers off for 10 minutes.

The calm before the storms.

And then we had 4 glorious days of sunshine and not terribly oppressive heat in Disney.  More on that in another post, though.

But the skies apparently weren't done jerking our chain.  Rain poured over us again as we creeped up I-4 out of Orlando and made our way up I-95.  We stopped for a quick bathroom break at a gas station south of Jacksonville. I got out of the car, looked up at the sky, and I was not very happy about what I saw.

Sickly greenish-gray clouds were swirling above us. They weren't just moseying in a circle, either.  These clouds were on a mission that I did not approve of.

We went inside the gas station to find the bathroom.  One employee was standing at the door staring at the sky.  At that moment, the radio announced that a tornado was spotted just south of our location.  I've never peed so quickly in my life.  We jumped back in the car and got the hell out of there.

We didn't see a tornado actually form, but it looked pretty dadgum imminent, and we are not professional storm chasers.  It was the other way around, actually - storms kept chasing us. But only on the road.  Our day on the beach in Alabama was perfect, and so were all 4 days at Disney.  Mother Nature might have had a sense of humor, but at least she wasn't a bitch.


  1. Would you say the paraphrase "red sky at night, driver delight. red sky in the morning, driver take warning" is accurate? Or maybe that just works for sailors.

  2. That's a good question... I'm not a morning person, so I'd miss the warning!