My name is Nathan Horne, rising Junior in the Corps of Cadets and a Geography major. I enjoy home cooked meals, walks on the beach at sunrise, and my hobbies include playing the mandolin.
But this is about the storm chase.
I hated to use that tired and worn quote, but Jerry Garcia’s musings fit me on this chase so far. It has been a long strange trip.
As I write this, we are Missouri and heading into nebraska, having rode from Dale, IN, on a push for Nebraska. Already we’ve gone much further west than I’ve ever been in my life. Sure, I’ve been up to Maine, and down to Geoirgia, but I’ve only ever been as far west as Pidgeonforge, TN. Other than that, I’ve lived in Henry county and Patrick county, VA and always kept close to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In the last 30 hours though, I traveled through West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and a ways into Missouri. I’ve seen the Gateway Arch, Cardinals and Rams Stadiums, and an oil truck’s tire explode 50 yards infront of me, sending a large chunk of metal into the air, but injuring no one. All these new experiences, yet last night for dinner, we ate at a little restaraunt in Indiana that reminded me of a diner called the Coffee Break in Stuart, VA, only bigger. Similar, cooked-to-order meals (They even had fried catfish and chicken), same friendly service, and a nice, small town feel to the whole experience.
I’m seeing much more than i ever thought i’d get a chance to, and it’s only the second day of the trip. While I’ve experienced tornados close to home ( a wild one ripped through Bassett, VA in 2005. knocked every tree down in a friend’s yard), this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to purposely drive towards where one could be. But you know, I figure why not? It’s college: the best four years of my life, my chance to see and do as much as I can to learn. I’ll take a few risks, cross my fingers, and hope it all works out like it should. I’ll be dissapointed if there isn’t a tornado, but the trip won’t be a total bust for me. Getting to travel the country is almost enough to make it all worthwhile.