Mapleton Iowa Right Before Wedge Tornado – Loess Hills Drive Turns into Storm Cloud Watching

We were just going to go for a drive on the Loess Hills Scenic Byway. We ended up filming main street Mapleton, Iowa, an hour before it was hit with a devastating wedge tornado. (1:15 on the video.) We were right on the edge of the cloud line and knew enough that we were seeing something unusual. When we met storm chasers parked along the road, we knew we were in a potentially dangerous area. We stayed on the outside edge of the storm and never did witness any tornadoes or severe weather. We continued on the byway, stopping to eat at Michael’s in Onawa where we overheard some other diners’ phone conversations about the Mapleton tornado. We certainly weren’t planning to see such a show in the sky — we were just planning to go for a nice drive.

Y’dstoti In Our Model A Ford Street Rod


Whether I’m the “Mapreader” or the “Nagivator” — you’ll get an idea of how we navigate in our 1930 Ford Model A. It is true that I don’t have room to hold an atlas! I use paper maps from AAA and fold, and re-fold, them along as we go so I can see what I need to see. Plus I have the Garmin on, but no destination entered so it just shows us where we are. This time we’re in eastern Oklahoma traveling on scenic Highway 10, and later in the Ouachita National Forest. Absolutely beautiful landscape! On the Oklahoma Mountain Pass Scenic Byway, the “Three Sticks National Forest Monument” represents land, wood, and water. There is an abundance of one of the things you don’t see on the interstate — shade!! Y’dstoti!