Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Next Big Adventure

I will be leaving Fairbanks soon for a couple of months, to drive from Fairbanks to Norman OK, to join a team of storm chasers on the largest storm chasing experiment yet, Vortex2.
Yes, yes, that is my Matchbox storm-chasing Doppler on Wheels, thanks to a friend from college

I am ridiculously excited about this internship, as it's been a dream of 10+ years for me to go storm chasing, and it's really an honor more than anything to have gotten onto the project. The project will be deploying 10 mobile radars to gain structure of the storms, 'tornado pods' to put in the path of the tornadoes, mobile weather stations, and even an unmanned aircraft that will be deployed into updrafts and downdrafts of the developing storms! Talk about a nerd fest. I can't wait to meet the hundreds of other people on the team, too!
We'll likely be covering at least 9 states during the project that I have not been to (map shows where they went last year, I stole this from a video about Vortex2), and I'll be driving through even more. I'm really really excited to scout out the country and live nomadic for this short time. I hope it will help me decide whether I want to stay up here after school is over, or bust a move elsewhere. I know it's hard to gauge a place by a quick visit, but hey, better than nothing.

This is an adrenaline junkie's dream! I think my 24th year is going to end on a high note. Assuming my car doesn't break down and no large mammals get in the way, I get to spend a few days including my birthday in Colorado with some good friends and head to Norman the next day for our first team meeting. Talk about awesome! Can't wait to see everyone. If you think you might be enroute to my destinations, please talk to me so we can at least say hi! A good friend of mine is flying up to do the drive partway with me, so I am looking forward to the time with her as well! Below is a rough plan.. though I am still deciding on the route through Canada and which way to go when.. too many options!9500 miles planned on my vehicle, probably another 13000+ more (on someone else's vehicle) while storm chasing, I won't want to get in a vehicle again for months! If you have music/audiobook/comedy skit suggestions, please send 'em this way!

Gonna live for places I ain't been
Make a lot of good remember-whens
Right up to the end ~ Dierks Bentley


Julie said...

Hey looks like you'll be driving back up to AK this summer. A few friends and I will be in Whitehorse mountain biking for a week in June. If you happen to be on your way back up then, you should stop and ride with us!

Have fun, you are going to have a blast!

Julie said...

Jules - yeah! Are you going during the 24 hours of Light? If so, I may be able to join you because I plan to head back up that last week of June. I was hoping to make it to Whitehorse for the race, but I think if I do make it by then (which might be a stretch), I'll be so wiped out that I won't want to race.. but maybe just leisurely play on the trails for a day :) So, if you stay in Whitehorse for a couple days after, I could very likely join. I'll be in touch closer to the time and we'll figure it out. I hear the trails are awesome there!!

theorbo said...

I can't tell what your exact route will be but if you are in/near Carcross, YT, then I recommend stopping at a restaurant called the Cinnamon Cache for lunch or breakfast - the cinnamon rolls were wonderful!

Congrats on Vortex2! I'm slightly jealous because I applied for Vortex 1 in '94/95. I look forward to following your adventures!!!

Julie said...

David - I didn't know that you applied for Vortex! Did you tell me that back in the Brusters days? That seems like forever ago... I remember talking weather with you a lot though.. especially when those storms rolled through and I may have gotten all excited. :)

If I pass thru Carcross, I'll be sure to check that place out. Thanks for the suggestion!