Wow, it has been a really long time since I wrote a post about chasing a storm. The last storm came to me by way of a freak “cutoff low”. I had been obsessing over radar and mesoanalysis all Friday and Saturday. Friday was a wash because I had to work. Saturday, there wasn’t a dang thing going on. I woke up Sunday, did a bunch of laundry, but most importantly I lit a candle next to my Father’s ashes and begged him to give me something, anything! I decided that no matter what the radar said I would be on the road by 11 am. I drove to Casa Grande (CG for short) browsed the Old Navy store and grabbed some more flip flops. I then proceeded to Mimi’s Cafe to eat lunch. I am an absolute crab if I do not eat. I asked to be seated at a table with a south eastern view and near a window. The poor 16 year old hostess just glazed over and looked to a waiter for help. I was very pleased with the table they chose for me, south east view right at a window. I ordered a somewhat healthy lunch of pita and hummus and some crab fritters. I like ordering small bits to pick at. I had my computer with me and was checking NWS radar often. I was also practicing CAPE and CIN on the mesoanalysis/thermodynamics pages. I saw some small but strong cells forming at Green Valley. I quickly began packing my stuff, got my tab paid and flew out the door on a mission to get me some rain! Upon arriving to my vehicle, the Traversinator, HA, sorry that was just a funny……I put on my Ipod, Journey: Greatest Hits! Only the Young blaring over my radio, I got back onto the 10 southbound and jammed to Tuscon. I was winging it, literally. NOAA Weather Radio app on Iphone4, that has NWS base reflectivity radar, GPS and a gut feeling. I love to drive, not many people know that about me. When I was growing up, my family went on many road trips. I sat next to my Dad, helped navigate, and counted hawks on fence posts. I loved the way my Dad drove, aggressive, and balls to the walls. He was fearless, and that drew a few screams from my Mother in the backseat with my sister, who always seemed to be sleeping. I love the feeling of the open road, never know what it was going to present. I dreamed secretly for a very long time of driving an rig and travelling around the U.S. My Dad had a soundtrack too, Journey, CCR and Eric Clapton. Two of which I still drive by. CCR was used up on the way to Casa Grande. I arrived in Tucson and decided to take HWY 19 south. I exited at W. Valencia BLVD. I stopped in a parking lot to find a bathroom to use, but nothing looked safe. I was in uncharted territory south of Tuscon by myself. I like to err on the side of caution. I continued west bound on Valencia not having a damn clue of where I would end up. My GPS kept showing the road going through to where I wanted it to go, which was where the storm was headed. I was parallel to the storm. I hit a dead end at Ajo Highway. North would have taken me back to the 10. My storm was south. I made a left and went for it. Rain was so close I could taste it. I wanted it, I NEEDED it. I found myself on a 2 lane highway in one of the most beautiful parts of Arizona I have seen in my 12 years here. I was making good time to get in front of the storm, that was only moving 5 MPH. Unwittingly I came up to a Arizona Border Patrol checkpoint. “OH SHITBALLS”, where was I? I drove up and stopped, figuring I would have to answer questions and show ID. The border agents were so cool. One popped his head into my window and said “what are you doing? Chasing storms?” I replied “yes” and he then told me that I would be “safe” if I stuck to the main highway, NO side roads, and not too far from the checkpoint. He also was kind enough to tell me that if I wasn’t back by in a half hour to 45 minutes, that they would send someone out. I never feel too safe, regardless of who is checking on me. I pulled over 5 miles from the checkpoint at a large shoulder in the direct path of the storm. It was so quiet there. The birds were flying around excitedly in anticipation of the rain. I admit, I was pretty nervous about getting out of my car, I was in the southern Arizona desert, anything can happen. I stuck to the drivers seat, facing my camera west and taking what I could. I think I did OK. Had a wing man/chick been with me, I would have taken 3 times the pictures and videos I did. One has to work with what she is presented with. It was a fruitful chase. I got to smell the rain and see a great storm. I heard some of the loudest thunder ever, and saw a bunch of really great cloud to ground lightning strikes. I absolutely loved this part of Arizona. Probably because it was in the middle of nowhere. I like nowhere, it is quiet there! I will be going back to chase storms at Three Points soon! Thank you to the United States/Arizona Border Patrol Agents who were so kind to me. You guys are awesome!!!!! Next time I am bringing pizza!