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Storm Chase Tours Rank #7 on LonelyPlanet

In scouring the Internet for more extreme things to do in the off-season, I recently came across an article from In case you’re wondering what LonelyPlanet is and if only lonely people go there, let me shed some light on the subject.

LonelyPlanet is all about helping travelers get started. From planning to what to do while you’re there, they have book after book (and of course the website) to help everyone get the most out of their journeys.

When I got to the article Adventure playground USA: the top 10 adrenalin rushes, I honestly didn’t expect Tornado Alley to be on there. I mean, it’s one thing to live there or chase there, but who really considers taking a storm tour? Oh wait, anyone that’s reading this blog right now.

The first several adventures were clearly of the extreme nature: ice climbing, rock climbing, canyoneering…the list goes on. But before kayaking, before sandboarding, came Storm Chase in Tornado Alley. I was shocked! There it was: my hobby, my love, for anyone to take a shot at (with a camera). And LonelyPlanet had great things to say about it.

“In spring winds spin wildly at up to 500km/h and Tornado Alley can experience more than 400 twisters. … You probably are in Kansas now, Dorothy.”

I’m trying to see just who at LonelyPlanet took a tour, and how many tornadoes the came across. Our goal? To beat that tour’s record day. But what really made my whole day about this article is that even though Tornado Alley came in at #7, we still beat out Manta Rays in Hawaii. Boom.

Want to learn more about LonelyPlanet? Check out for more.

Superstorm Sandy

LaGuardia flooding from Superstorm Sandy

How many lives were affected by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy? The answer is easy: just about everyone.

The NYSE closed yesterday and won’t reopen until tomorrow. Largely populated areas of the Mid Atlantic are deserted as locals wait for the flood waters in their neighborhoods to recede. LaGuardia and JFK airports are still closed, with flood waters reaching as high as some airline gates. Although many of us went to work today, our thoughts were still focused on the chaos and aftermath of the weather back east.

One thing remains true about natural disasters: it’s never about one person, it’s about everyone. We all come together in time of need, whether it’s rescue efforts or donations. Weather brings us all together like nothing else. What was your Sandy experience like?

I received many first-hand reports from back east last night. I have family and friends in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York. Everyone is okay, several are still without power. Flooding and wind were the main pests. The late night report from my brother in northern Delaware was: “Rainy and dark. And windy, we’re definitely getting pounded from the north.”

My mom lives in Pennsylvania, just northwest of Philadelphia. When I asked her how the weather was earlier Monday afternoon, she only had one word for me: “Lousy.”

Her power went out around 8pm Eastern Time. My brother’s never went out. Even family just south of Atlantic City never lost power. Back east it always seems like luck of the draw when severe weather strikes, you never know who will draw the short straw!

What matters now is the rebuild and recovery of the homes lost and lives torn apart. Although Sandy was no Katrina, she was still costly and cost lives. There is a reason I don’t quite feel ready to chase hurricanes: they’re just so BIG. You can get the perfect shot but you can’t get back out. Always leave chasing to the professionals, and if you do decide you want to chase, do it the right way! Catch a ride with an experienced chaser that’s willing to let you ride along. Or take a tour with a company like Rapid Rotation. The safest way to be a part of the action is to be a part of it with the right people.

But I have to ask—if given the chance, would you consider chasing a hurricane?