The morning started out just like the morning before. I was in the RV making everyone a delicious breakfast. Chili Verdi, scrambled egg and chorizo burritos, fried potatoes on the side. From the window I could see the campsite starting to come alive. It was late fall and the mornings were chilly. Tony was stirring up last nights fire. Robert was icing down some beer in the coolers. Joe Ray & Billy Bob had already left on the jet skis headed to the pier to gas them up for the day.
Manuel & Jesus were sitting outside their RV drinking coffee. Paulo & Rodrigo were backing the truck up getting ready to put the boat back in the lake. Johnny & Charlie were doing the whatever in their tent. And Bobby as always was still asleep. I loved mornings at the lake. I went and gave Bobby his special morning wake up call. By the time we were finished everyone was ready for some of my good mornin' breakfast. And a beer. I never did enjoy beer with breakfast. But the rest of the guys did. I didn't enjoy beer with lunch. But the rest of the guys did. At the lake usually 2 was my time to pop one open. The first one always went down real fast. By 2:03 I was ready for another one. By five I was mixing the Margaritas. The afternoon had been just like the afternoon before. Riding the jet skis, skiing behind the boat, sun burritos for lunch and now Margarita time. I made the best. I'm sure it was the shot of Grand Marnier on the top that did it. Dusk and the wind was picking up a little. Nothing really different than the night before. We looked up and the sky was going green.
This was a lot different than the night before and all of us knew what this meant. I screamed for everyone to get inside the RV. Tony was the last one inside and just that quickly the winds were so strong we could barely get the door closed and locked. Sand & dust were blowing in thru the windows until we managed to get them all closed. All but the two in the bedroom. Bobby yelled to leave those open. The Pressure. Twelve men inside an RV parked next to a lake during a Tornado. I had never heard a noise outside like this before. It was deafening. None of us said a word for what was the longest 6 minutes of our lives. We just sat there scared to death hand in hand. At one point I knew that the RV was either gonna explode or turn over. It didn't. Just as quickly as the winds had started they stopped. It was over. Bobby was the one who went to the door unlocked it and looked outside. One by one we all went back outside and NONE of us could believe what we saw. Johnny & Charlie's tent was no longer with us. Manuel & Jesus's RV was turned on it's side. Joe Ray & Billy Bobs jet skis were no where in sight. Paulo and Rodrigo's boat was gone. And Robert was screaming "where's my fu@king cooler". Robert always did have his priorities right. All of us ran down into the water searching for the boat, the jet skis, the tent, and the cooler. Except for Manuel and Jesus. They were standing in a state of shock just looking at their turned over RV. I swam out a ways into the lake and saw them. Two jet skis one on top of the other and a boat. In the lagoon.
Either the winds had picked them up and dropped them there or they had just drifted in during the storm. Not a scratch on the boat and just a couple of nicks on the jet skis. Back at the camp we all tried. But even with 12 men there was no way we could get Manuel & Jesus's RV upright. It was time for another batch of Margaritas with double the Grand Marnier. This night had been nothing like the night before. Except for the Margaritas followed by the laughter. The next morning The Park Rangers came by and with their help and their ropes and their truck along with Paulo & Rodrigo's truck Manuel & Jesus's RV was once again on it's wheels. Other than a big mess inside, a couple of broken windows and a few small
dents on the outside it was fine.
Started right up. The Park Ranger said that the tornado had touched down in the middle of the lake and that if we all hadn't of piled into one RV that it would have probably turned over. It was the weight. The weight of 12 guys that had kept it from turning over. We never did find Johnny & Charlie's tent. Nor did we find Robert's fu@king cooler.
The rest of the day was just like the day before. And that night was just like the night before. The night before last that is!