Louisiana – Texas- Oklahoma and Weather

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Three weeks, three Corp of Engineer Campgrounds, three states, and three weather incidents have brought us to Oklahoma with a new hail damaged truck and a desire to get back to Minnesota.  March has been an interesting month.

New TruckThe first week in March we made a trip to Louisiana for a few days as Joe had been making an internet deal on a new 2015 Dodge Ram Dually.  I’ll take a step back and just say that Joe has been looking for a different truck for well over a year.  He had been worry about the brakes on the 2011 truck handling our Lifestyle and also the towing capacity on hills and in the wind.  I want us to be safe since travelling is our way of life so we decided when the price was right and he found a truck that had all he wanted on it he should deal on it.  So he found this 2015 Ram in Shreveport, LA.  Since it was a year old new truck the dealing was really good.  We drove to Shreveport, right over the LA/TX border to pick up the new truck on March 7th.  To me it wasn’t much different than the old truck but to Joe it was all he wanted plus some.  He was so proud and I was happy for him.  From there we went back to Jefferson, TX to Alley Creek COE Park.  We were in our site for 4 days of a 12 day stay when we were evacuated from the site because of severe flooding.  We had 10 inches of rain in 3 days.   We were able to move to higher grounds and watch the water rise every day for the next week.  It was amazing to watch a huge lake come up so far in such a short period of time.  Many of the campsites in our loop and another area flooded.   Our original site did not flood but the road to get to it was under about 6 feet of water.    That was weather incident number one.

Three Days of Rain and watching water rise Other area of campground 0311160921_HDR Flooded road to our side Pelican sitting on rope for surrounded swing area Picnic shelter under water

East Fork Park On March 20th we moved to Wylie, TX to another COE park, East Fork Park.  We had started to hear about a storm heading our way and were a little concerned because they talked about tornadoes and hail and there were no shelters in the park.  The one bathroom they had was being torn down to put in a new one.  All day on March 23rd we watched the weather and thought it was going to go above us.  About 10p.m. we started to get weather alerts for our area for a tornado watch and hail.  It hit us hard and fast at 10:45.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so afraid in my life.  The hail was deafening along with terrible winds.  It felt like it lasted for 10 minutes but I’m sure it was more like 3 or 4 minutes.  Lily and I sat on the kitchen floor both of us shaking and Joe paced.  When it was all over we picked up golf ball size hail that pretty much covered the ground.  Since it was dark it was hard to see just how much damage we had so it was a pretty sleepless night.  In the morning we saw our new truck covered with hail damage.  I don’t think there is a spot on the truck that isn’t damage.  The 5th wheel came out much better.  There is some damage on the top and sides but not anything like the truck.  But it is all fixable (we hope) and we were safe.  That was weather incident number two.

Up 2" Diameter Hail Photo_22 Photo_39 Photo_16 Roof Removed Photo_49

Coon Creek COE park, SunsetOn March 29th we decided to get out of TX because there was another storm predicted with the same stuff.  We checked the weather map and plotted our course thinking we were moving out of the predicted weather.  It just doesn’t work out the way you want it to all the time.   We happened to go to another COE park, Coon Creek, in Ponca City, Oklahoma and ended up right in the storm.  March 31st brought us another storm with half dollar size hail.  It didn’t last as long and we didn’t have the wind with it but we could see more dents in the truck.  Fortunately the insurance adjuster hadn’t come from the first storm so we didn’t have to turn in two claims.  Weather incident number three.

More Hail at Ponca City, Oklahoma Someone called our new truck a hail magnet.  Hopefully that isn’t true and it could have been a lot worse.  Our insurance company has told us to go back to Minnesota and the adjuster would check out the vehicles there and we will get the truck repaired.  The Lifestyle will have to wait until we can get to Indiana to have that repaired.

We have been doing this full-time thing for five years and have not had any weather incidents like these so I guess we can really count our blessings.

Wildfire across the lake from our campsideToday we are sitting on the shore of a nice lake enjoying the sun, watching a blue heron in the water and counting all of our blessings.  Tomorrow we are heading to another COE park in Kansas for a few days.  We are holding off getting to Dakota Meadows in Minnesota to soon since they don’t normally turn on their water until April 15th and they restrict which sites you can be on until they turn on the water.  We can’t wait to see most of our kids and grandkids in Minnesota and look forward to our trip in June to Ohio to await the arrival of our new grand-daughter.  We are truly blessed!

Stay safe!  Love to all our friends and family.  See you in a few weeks!