Friday, May 22, 2009

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Bet you weren't expecting this.

"Oh my God!!!" That was our greeting as Probe 11 and Probe 12 pulled over at a scenic spot near Mt. Rushmore. Two elderly couples stared in awe as our fully-equipped VORTEX2-labeled vehicles stopped in an area most definitely out of our domain:

The theoretical domain of the VORTEX2 project. The area was determined based on climatologically favorable areas for tornado development and regions in which the road network is close to ideal--a simple grid with paved roads.

As we got out of our cars one woman apologized to us as they took pictures, saying, "I'm sorry but we can't remember all of your profiles that we've seen on The Weather Channel so we're not sure which ones you are!" I laughed and assured her that was fine since there are over 100 of us. I didn't point out that only the steering committee has full profiles on and only a handful of the nine of us in our mini-convoy had been interviewed otherwise. :)

I don't know how this could be distracting to tourists.

So yes, we were in South Dakota the Black Mt. Rushmore...where the chance for a tornado was even slimmer than in the rest of the area we've covered. Today was a travel day, and we are awaiting further instruction at tomorrow's morning weather briefing about whether or not we are going to target anything. On the bright side we got to check out a cool part of South Dakota. Including the Crazy Horse monument:

Pretty crazy, right?

The Crazy Horse monument was started back in the day by the same man who carved Stone Mountain in Georgia. He was hired by a Native American tribe to sculpt a 3D monument of Crazy Horse into a mountain relatively close to Mt. Rushmore. The Crazy Horse monument would be much larger than Mt. Rushmore...unfortunately, it would also be finished roughly sometime in the next 300 years. Essentially, the original man started it, got married, and together they made a lot of babies. Those babies then became children, whose chores were more focused around blowing up mountainsides than taking out the trash. Those children then ran off and found their own spouses, made their own babies, and turned those babies into the people working on the monument today. Because they have refused federal funding (if I remember the story correctly), the project is taking significantly longer than Mt. Rushmore. I am sad, however, that not only will I never see the monument completed, but neither will my children...or grandchildren...or great-grandchildren..........ok I don't think anyone will ever see it. Someone will probably conquer the United States and destroy all national monuments before it's completed.

But that's just my Orwellian opinion.

So yeah, that was today in a nutshell! Hopefully a cooler update tomorrow!

Our mini crew for the evening.

That's me!

1 comment:

  1. yayy! I like the Italian guy and the guy with the Hobart shirt. Will went to Hobart!!