50 States... Or Less

PLACE Tornado Country

699 Main St
Savannah, TN 38372

Southern Weather

A Californian’s first encounter with a tornado

We left Chattanooga and headed towards Lynchburg, which on the Jack Daniels bottle states the population is 361, which it was at some point, but I think it’s more like 5,000 now, but it’s still a tiny town with Jack being pretty much the main industry. Our campground appeared to be abandoned, the owner was reached by phone, but was out of town, and the campground itself seemed to have been last occupied maybe sometime last year, possibly when Lynchburg hosts it’s annual BBQ cook-off. It had 2 other trailers parked in it, but they also appeared to be abandoned. The bathroom was built for a lot of people, and the whole set-up further proved to me that there’s really nothing spookier than an empty campground at night... maybe an empty summer camp next to a lake.

In the middle of the night it rained. It does that a lot out here. (It does that a lot during the day too.) This was a problem when we got up in the morning and remembered that we had chosen a spot on a slight hill, with our nose pointed up the hill, and with another hill behind us, so we couldn’t back out of the spot. The coach is 13,000 pounds and front wheel drive. This is not usually a problem until you park on a muddy hill. Our first couple of efforts to get it up the hill and onto the gravel were met with flying mud and curses, so we went into town for lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s and hoped the ground would dry out a bit.

We finally found out what a Dollar General is, (disappointingly it’s pretty much a Walgreens) that fortunately sells large doormats, which along with our patio astroturf gave their lives for a good cause. We used one under each front wheel and over the course of 45 minutes we managed to inch our way up the 10 feet of hill. We were very proud of ourselves for getting it unstuck, not needing to call somebody with a tractor, and also for not falling out in the process.

We cleaned the mud and sweat off ourselves and got back on the road, with the idea of trying to get as close to Memphis as we could before getting tired, and then seeing if staying in a Wal-mart parking lot is something we wanted to do more of. The weather was fine until we got to Savannah (Tennessee) and it was just starting to rain when we went into the store to get supplies. While inside I thought I heard an alarm, but later when we went back outside to make food, I heard what it actually was, the big storm in Alabama had apparently made it’s way north and the sirens were going off. Paul, having lived in the Mid-West was less alarmed by this than I was, as the only time you hear those go off in California is the one day a week or month where they test them. (The one in San Francisco used to mean to me that I was last for class, because it’s going off, so it must be noon.)

Photos Taken Here