Friday, October 19, 2007

Another day, another Wal-Mart

We are at another Wal-Mart in Tallahassee (map).

We had a nice dinner at the University Center Club last night, which overlooks Doak Campbell Stadium in much the way a high-ticket sky box does at a pro park. Preparations are under way for this weekend's game against Miami.

Unfortunately, there was no place we could park Odyssey overnight within walking distance of the stadium. We did park in the student lot for dinner -- there was no way we were going to ride a scooter to dinner in last night's torrential downpour -- driving here to Wal-Mart when we were done. There are a lot of low oak trees in Tallahassee, so getting to the stadium in the first place was a bit of a challenge -- the GPS wanted us to take a street that would have stripped everything right off the roof.

Our plan had been to leave here this morning, heading east toward Live Oak. We caught a news item before dinner, though, about a destructive tornado which hit Pensacola, only a few hours west of here, and we contacted the Disaster Operations Center immediately to let them know where we were. We were told to stand by this morning for possible deployment, and leadership was en route to Pensacola. Of course, this morning's news was full of additional tornado strikes, including one not far from our home chapter in Indiana. We decided to stay put, right here at Wal-Mart, until we got word of where we might be needed, if at all.

So here we are, about to spend an uncharacteristic second night in the same Wal-Mart parking lot. It took the whole day for our chapter to figure out that we really were not going to be needed anywhere -- the Pensacola operation turned out to be smaller than anticipated (it is already shutting down), and, while the one in Indiana is larger, it will likely be close to wrapping up by the time we could get there. So, we are standing down, and will resume tomorrow morning with our plan to head to the Suwannee river.

Of course, we're sitting right dead center of the low-pressure trough that spawned these storms, and more than a foot of rain has been dumped on us in the last 24 hours. Odyssey has more leaks than the Nixon administration, and we've been sopping up water in here for a good part of that time. Harumph. Ironically, we file these parking lot stays under the label "Dry camping." Not.

I'm hoping for a drier day tomorrow.

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