Thursday, Aug 3

Got up and shared breakfast in camp with our guests from Cincinnati area. Fun having David and Cassie here with us at the dig yesterday. After they departed for parts unknown (mostly heading east toward home) we fussed around camp doing some housekeeping chores and catching up on some things. Got a late start into the field to work on the triceratops dig site. We stopped by and visited with a friend then headed to the dig. It was plenty hot by around noon. As we were driving out on the ranch toward the site, I was eerily reminded of the frightful hail barrage we suffered through 3 weeks ago at this same location. We got to the dig site and decided to eat our lunch up on top of the butte where we are digging. That way we had a very good view of the skies all around us.

Looking NE from the dig site. Skies are getting our attention.

Um…. It started looking frightening and very stormy; sure looks like it’s raining off in the distance in several directions. We were still eating when we started feeling a few drops of rain and started seeing serious bolts of lightning. We elected to move out of there and left for the @20 minute drive back to camp. Couldn’t help it as we decided to stop a few times to take in the views and grab some photos. As we got a little closer to camp we noticed distinctly twisting cloud formations. Now it was starting to get real serious. Tim called the winds and cloud formations to definitively be “tornadic.” Now I don’t know if that’s a word or not but did seem to fit. Huge, huge anvil like legs sticking out to the sides with a funnel like thin string of cloud heading down and greatly twisting clouds seeming to be sucked into the big cloud. It looked like a tornado was certainly possible. We did get back to camp and tried to make sure everything was buttoned down.

Getting ready to hold on as we watch this storm evolve and start to twist.
Steve capturing Tim capturing the slowly becoming more scary looking cloud formations.
You decide – tornado or not? Not right on top of us but close.

Then the rain came and rising winds until it was moving horizontally from time to time. It rained hard, the winds blew, and was coming down with ferocity. Luckily all was okay in camp (as far as a I know right now). We had a nice dinner Tim had planned and enjoyed it together in the camper. We plan to go into town tomorrow to do some chores and hopefully the rain will abate; although the forecast is now predicting @73%-98% chance of rain pretty much all day on Friday – we’ll see.