#74 Dodging Storms in Texas

May 27, 2007
536 miles

It stormed Saturday night and early Sunday morning. After consulting The Weather Channel and Weather.com right up to the last minute, I pick a time and route to best get me out of Texas. I decide to leave New Braunfels heading north on I35 to Round Rock, then turn northeast on US79 to Henderson. I20 will be just 35 miles up hwy 43 from Henderson, Texas.

This was the route that looked like I would have the best chance of dancing around - instead of through - the thunderstorms. The plan worked fairly well. The skies were threatening rain, but it was mostly empty threats. I had steady rain for a few miles north of Hearne and I thought I was home free, until...
A few miles south of Henderson I had a huge dark storm brewing and growing to my right. This is the one that got me. When it started...IT STARTED. Rain came down in buckets. I didn't have to strain to see the lightening through the darkness--and it was only about 5:30 in the afternoon! Of course with lightening comes thunder - it was louder than the XM radio piped into my helmet speakers. Then there was the gusts of wind. I was hunkered down trying to anticipate when to lean into the blast of wind trying to knock me off the road. Visibility was only about 3 seconds in front of me. It helped that there was a pickup in front of me that I could follow. They probably had windshield wipers...I didn't dare let go of the handlebar grips long enough to wipe my face shield!

The storm was intense, but it was short. By the time I found a place to pull over it was mostly behind me. Looking back at it in my mirror, it seems that I had only caught the edge of it. I continued though the light rain into Henderson without stopping. The roads were dry from Henderson to I20 and beyond. When I reached I20 the skies ahead were light and non-threatening. Now to put on some miles. With Texas and storms in my rearview mirror, I skip across Louisiana in no time.

I reached Vicksburg, Mississippi about 11pm. Fueled up, grabbed a quick bite to eat and checked into the Comfort Inn. I felt that I was close enough to the high pressure system hovering over Atlanta that I wouldn't wake to rain the next morning.

Watching The Weather Channel that evening, I see the rain is not showing any mercy to Central Texas. A spokesperson for the local sheriff's department (Comal County) was on all the news channels telling about rescuing people from the rising waters of the Comal River and those that were lost to the flash floods. I feel lucky to have made it through with barely a glitch.

Fleetering toward the High...

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