Taylor Davidson · Kansas

Where twisters come from.
by Taylor Davidson · 30 Sep 2014

One of the keys to surviving a road trip is to take stops to enjoy the view. Take a turn down a side road, follow your nose, get out of the car, and savor the places you find.

In Kansas, we followed the main road through a stream of small, quiet, farm towns. A couple houses, an insurance company, a small grocery store, gas station, the signposts of every town across America. On this particular town, though, we turned off a side road, past a couple houses, and ended up at the edge of corn fields, a mere two blocks off the main road. We stopped, went to the fields and started admiring the expanse.

While taking pictures, I noticed a bit of wind and dirt blow over the fields, a mere rustle in the corn, but a rustle that turned over and over, taking more wind and dirt with it until it organized itself neatly into a swirling column of wind. A twister?

Mesmerized, we watched it build, swirl, and choose a path: head straight toward us. From a couple feet away, I watched Sloane duck as the twister went directly through her, catching her for a moment until it continued through the car, shuttering the open car door, and spun itself out of control, disintegrating back into the air. A twister?, we asked, in disbelief.

As a reward for stopping and savoring the experience, the ghost of Kansas paid us a visit. Hello, thank you, goodbye.