Every summer, our whole family gets together for two weeks at the family cottage in Door County. When Michael, Matt, and I lived in Colorado, this trip home was a hike.
We had spent a very enjoyable time with my sister, her husband, and our two nieces and their families.
Michael and Matt loved to play golf at University Ridge in Madison. Since it was sort of on our way back to Colorado, we decided it would be a great way to end our vacation.
Once out on the course, the weather made a drastic change. The heavy clouds started rolling in and before long, the horn sounded calling the golfers in due to dangerous lightning. We waited around for a while to see if we might get a break in the weather. That didn’t happen. The guys were understandably disappointed that they couldn’t finish their round.
We decided it would be best to get on the road home and try to get ahead of the weather. The three of us were planning to take turns driving so we could drive all night. My turn was first. As we drove through Wisconsin, the storm seemed to be following us. The sky was getting darker and more ominous. It was taking on that murky green that often precedes a tornado.
As we drove into Cedar Rapids, IA there was no doubt that this weather meant business. It started to hail and I wanted to take cover. Down the road, I could see a car wash. It was one of those corrugated metal buildings shaped like half an egg. I drove quickly into an empty bay just as the sky opened up.
There was a combination of hail, rain and winds that sounded like they were going to lift our hiding place. We were feeling scared and as safe as we could be at that moment.
It’s hard to say how long we stayed in our hiding place. The wind died down and the rain slowed to a fine mist. The sky started to lighten up. We ventured out slowly. We were surrounded by branches and debris.
We were starving, so we looked for a place to eat. One side of the road was completely dark – no electricity. The other side of the road seemed to be fine. We found a restaurant open and went in. The talk at every table was about the tornado that went through moments before and how lucky we all were to be safe.
Yikes. I had no idea it was that bad. Thank you to our car wash hiding place.