We definitely had and interesting afternoon Tuesday. Everything had went very smoothly all day. We left Estes Park around 11:00 Am and started the nice leisurely and stunning drive to Loveland and I-25. I snapped several pictures through the windshield but I haven't even checked to see how they turned out. I hope to post some of them later if they are good.
We headed North on I-25 and stopped for fuel at the Flying J in Cheyenne. In the afternoon on the North side of Casper, Wyoming the storm clouds began to gather to our West. They didn't look good at all but it seemed by the weather reports that we would be North of the storm by the time it crossed the interstate. Lesson #1: Don't believe everything you read or hear!
About 30 miles North of Casper we were right in the path of a terrible storm. Very high winds and the potential of large hail and heavy rain. Occasionally we had some hills on the West side of the interstate so that blocked some of the wind but it was still moving the BoggsMobile pretty badly. I slowed way down and was looking for somewhere to park (In the middle of nowhere.) when it sounded like the roof came off the bus. We have, or I should say had, a 17 ft. window awning on the drivers side of the bus and when I looked in my mirror trying to locate the source of the terrible noise I could see the awning was flopping in the wind!
The tension is supposed to keep it rolled up, plus it had a little safety catch on it as well but nothing held in that wind. I pulled over and accessed the situation and decided to ease up under a bridge to hopefully find some shelter from the wind and rain. While I was doing this, Kelly Jo was sending texts to friends and family so they could pray AND so they would know where we were if we were blown a way in the storm.
The awning was so damaged, I knew it wouldn't roll back up so I tried my best to rig something to secure it for a few miles. We were all praying as I worked from a ladder right next to the interstate and it seemed the BoggsMobile could literally turn over from the force of the wind at times. I kept quoting and praying a verse that I have been preaching to folks across this country.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
The situation was stressful for several minutes and it seemed as if things could become drastically worse in seconds but there was no fear. I know that God is my refuge. I know that God is my strength. I know that God is a very present help in my trouble. Therefore I must not allow fear to reign!
After the Lord helped me to secure it enough to drive slowly if the wind would die down we began to pray about which direction to go. Continue on 85 miles to the campground we had planned to stay in? Then 40 more miles the next day to the nearest RV Repair place on our route? OR Find a place to turn around and go 30 miles in the wrong direction to Casper, Wyoming?
It was after 5:00 so I expected the Repair facilities in Casper to be closed. I called one and they said they could get me in the next morning and could repair or remove the awning. Just as I started that way the wind died down, the sun came out and a beautiful bright rainbow appeared beside the road! Praise God!
I drove very slowly to Rec Vee Service & Supply in Casper and pulled in around 6:15 PM. Lou, the owner, was still there so he looked it over and it was obvious the awning was beyond repair. The only option was to remove it. After about 30 minutes work we had it on the ground. Here's the kicker. Lou charged me only $25 and for only $10 more he allowed me to plug into his 50 amp plug and spend the night. After all the stress of the storm, the possibilities that could have happened, the damage that did occur, Lou Grunewald of Rec Vee Service & Supply was an answer to prayer!
I have no idea what a new window awning will cost but right now it doesn't matter. I am thankful my little family is safe and that all 12 tires (Counting Mr. Cheap Jeep) are facing down instead of looking at the sky!
We should have taken some pictures during the storm but pictures were way down the list of priorities behind things like prayer!
Praise God for his help and the prayers of our friends!
It is supposed to be wrapped up nice and tight behind a metal enclosure!
This rainbow was so bright and both ends were visible on the ground but my iPhone just couldn't capture the brilliance. Thank God for the message of the rainbow!