Saturday April 9th 2011, the day is finally here, the day we leave home and head down to Iowa. Our trip was going very well, only a few sprinkles when we entered South Dakota. As we were driving further south we noticed the temperature kept rising and rising, soon the thermometer on my dash read 87, yes that’s 87 degrees in April, then again we were now a little south of Omaha. This is where the skies began to darken and the winds started to blow. A few more miles down the road we noticed an odd looking van. This van was painted all black with some red accents. Well these accents weren’t for decoration, they were body armor! This just happens to be the first official storm chaser I have encountered in person. Shortly after seeing the first storm chaser Kristy’s phone went off, it was a weather alert letting us know that Villisca is now under a tornado watch. In total we saw about 10 different storm chaser vehicles, the good news, they were all heading north, we were heading south. The next morning we learned a tornado did touch down in Mapleton Iowa. We arrived in Stanton later that evening, it was still in the mid 80’s, that’s too hot for me, there are reasons I live in Minnesota. The first thing we did in Stanton was check into our rooms, we settle in and now off for supper. Virginia’s place fit our pallet that night, cold beer hot food. Later that night we decide to do a test run of our live feed. It worked as suspected, we didn’t have very good internet connection since Omaha. I slept in the next morning (waking at 8:30) it was already in the 80’s what a day, did I mention I hate the heat. Off to Villisca we go, just like I pictured it in my mind, a small farm town. We arrived at the house in no time. Looked around for a while and then we took in the town for a bit, then headed to the museum and then the cemetery. Now it was Officially our time to enter the house. The REAL moment I have been waiting for months. Set up went very smooth, ended up not need nearly as much extension cords as we thought, or video cable, but it is always good to have more than we need. In about an hour we had our DVR system up and running, tripods all set up and other miscellaneous equipment set up and ready to go. Now all we had to do was acquire an internet connection. We started the live feed around the 7:00 hour. Things were going great. A little after dark two vehicles of teenagers rolled up and wanted to look inside the house while we were taping. We had to call security to take care of this little problem. Well our group being the size it is, turns out I am security. After a few minutes they decided it would better for them to come back during the day and do the official tour. Unfortunately I didn’t have any personal experiences but I did get to hear what the other group members experienced. I can’t wait to get all of our footage evaluated, I know we have some good stuff. Around the 4:00 hour we decided it was time for a short nap and then we would tear down. I got about 30 minutes of a nap in my car before it was time to tear down. The tear down went very quick, which was very good considering how tired we all were! At the point there were only two things left for us to do, take a picture of us post investigation and sign our names to the wall of fame.
- Brian H.