After enduring a fifteen hour tornado watch in Lafayette, the storm clouds cleared on Monday morning and I escaped unscathed. Others were not so fortunate. A tornado killed two people in a trailer just east of Lafayette. I didn’t sleep much on Sunday night.
I feel now the tour has begun. I spent the first week all along the Gulf of Mexico, delayed by several days waiting out storms. The trip didn’t feel like the west trip yet because the vegetation and climate were the same as home. The drive Monday morning to Shreveport LA was easy, the distance being only 221 miles, and I arrived just after 1 PM. I spoke to some folks that tried to make the drive from Lafayette to Shreveport during the storm. They said they had to pull off the road because they couldn’t see, and there were many other cars pulled of on the side of the road too. I can’t imagine why people would drive during such dangerous conditions. Being inside a car when there are tornadoes around is not a good idea. I’ve seen the movie Twister.
After the easy drive to Shreveport, I decided to keep most days to about 200 miles and 4 hours. Well that plan did not last one day. While planning to head north of Dallas towards northwest Texas and northeast New Mexico I checked the weather. I saw the dreaded red blob on the weather map indicating another region of potential severe weather north of Dallas and stretching into Oklahoma. Winds of 25+ mph were forecast. Setting out early on Monday morning, I set the GPS NAV unit for north of Dallas. I did not want to drive through Dallas. After a few miles I stopped, looked at a map of Dallas and checked the weather forecast for Dallas. Winds around Dallas were forecast for 20 mph, but I figured that was better than the 25 mph winds forecast for north of Dallas. I rerouted the GPS NAV through Dallas and Ft. Worth on I-20.
The same low pressure system north of Dallas causing high winds also caused 20+ mph winds south of Dallas. The good news is that getting through Dallas on I-20 was very easy. The road is in great shape, and there were not too many trucks. There was some traffic around Dallas, but not nearly as much as I thought it would be. I arrived in Dallas around 11 AM and cleared Ft Worth around 12 PM. The Dallas Ft Worth metro area was about 60 miles wide. The traffic was very moderate which surprised me.
The strong winds from the south made driving difficult. The cross winds constantly buffeted the high-profile RV. Sometimes the wind would gust and push the coach to the right. Then the winds would calm a bit and the coach would lurch to the left since I was steering against the wind.