On the last morning, we decided to leave early so we could enjoy a trip through Independence Pass before heading home. The pass had just opened the weekend before. It was a beautiful drive, and there was still snow on the ground. It added a couple of hours to our travel time, but it was well worth it.
K & L had to put their flip flops in the snow drifts at the side of the road before we headed down the mountain and toward home.
We had a long drive, and as we drew closer to home we started hearing storm reports on the radio. The weather got pretty bad, and we found ourselves sandwiched between two storms. We couldn't stop or the one behind us would catch us, so we just kept crawling along. My step mom called my cell phone. She was worrying. It was already pretty late so I thought it was strange, but she said to call no matter what time we got home. Within about 20 miles of home, the radio DJ said there was a tornado headed straight for our town. Then we listened as our town took a direct hit. We tried to go into town the back way, but the trees made it impossible to enter. The main entrance into town had already been shut down by emergency personnel.
For the next 45 minutes, the Mr. and several other men tried to pull trees out of the way so emergency vehicles could enter. Some guys from a nearby town showed up with chain saws and our car lights illuminated what little could be seen. We used our cell phones to call neighbors about the condition of our house and the people in our neighborhood. They had very little information, but knew they were OK and so was our house. I sat in the car and shook. I had no idea what we would see when we finally got into town, but I knew it wasn't going to be good. We had been on top of the mountain, literally, that morning. And we had descended into a kind of hell.
To be continued...