Last night a bloc of seasonably normal weather ran into the seasonably warm weather we've been having, producing thunderstorms and several tornadoes. At least one of these twisters chose to cross the Platte Valley on the ground, cutting a south-to-north path about five to six miles west of Highway 83 or about two miles west of the edge of North Platte proper. Perfectly in line to jack up Union Pacific's Bailey Yards.* the town's primary employer. A couple of nearby homes were flattened, the people who had been living there now somewhat inconvenienced but uninjured, and a semi was overturned on Interstate 80 to the west of town, driver injured mildly. The Golden Spike Tower remained standing through the perilous night, Yah be praised. Several windows on the west end of town proper blasted out by downdrafts.
*(Largest railroad reclassification yard in the World! No. I'm not exactly sure what that means either. But hey, biggest in the world. )
So naturally it was the perfect time for me to come home. Everyone here has a lightness in their step like they just went to a rave or had sex or went skydiving. Probably this is the most exciting thing to happen in North Platte since that cop killer with the portable meth lab- Moses was it? Was gallivanting through the countryside kind of sort of nearby but not really.
Today I think I'm going to Chimney Rock. It's as perfect a day for a good hike as there's ever going to be. Cooler, but nowhere near cold, a workday where I should have the scenery and the silence to myself, and too early for snakes too, probably. Mostly though I just feel the need to make like Gabriel Conroy and experience the far west of my own land. Goodbye to you whoever you may be.