Taking shelter

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Despite Montgomery being the state capitol of Alabama I have to say we didn't visit the capitol building this time - I know how disappointed some of you will be but that's life!! :) Our campsite was literally just off the southern ring road and I'm almost ashamed to say we didn't do much exploring; it was just a stop over. As such, we didn't stray far from this ring road, which was much like any other as you will see.  We were becoming increasingly concerned about a deepening storm that was tracking across from the west coast, taking in pretty much the whole of the country. Even before it reached the mid west there were severe storm warnings and tornado watches issued. It looked like no one was going to escape, so having kept the weather channel on almost permanently; we decided that although there was a siren right across the road and that the restrooms were the designated shelters; we would head south towards the part of the Gulf Coast that looked the safest. Hence we found ourselves in a very pleasant campsite in Fountain, 25 miles north of Panama City where we hoped we'd be OK.

The hosts at the campsite didn't seem unduly worried, but they live with this sort of thing all the time. At the Florida welcome centre across the state line they hoped there wouldn't be too much rain as there has already been a good deal of flooding in the area.
As it turned out there was quite a lot of rain, some of it rather heavy but only one or two claps of thunder, then just as these wonderful meteorologists had forecast it blew through and by lunchtime Monday the clouds were parting and the sun peeking through once more.

 We breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that in many other places people had not been so lucky. There was storm damage to the north and west of us. Much further north it had dumped even more snow onto the Gt.Lakes region and the plains, then it was heading for the North East - sorry Doug!
We took advantage of the improving weather and drove down to Panama City

 We gave Panama Beach, a bit like Blackpool, a miss, it will be here at the week end that thousands of students descend for their Spring break - always something for us older folk to avoid if possible. http://www.pcbeachspringbreak.com
 This time last year we were heading for Las Vegas where Spring Break coincided with St.Patricks Day but there it really seemed to add to the exciting atmosphere! Driving along the beach road we found some very desirable houses, though whether I'd want to be quite so close to the sea I'm not so sure.

    This made us think of home, though the boat 'garages' brought us back to reality.
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