I have a “Highway to Hail” sticker on my car. It’s one of those storm chaser puns, with nothing to do with the AC/DC album but everything to do with those icy, rock-hard missiles from the sky that are always a hazard when chasing tornadoes. I’ve had two car-remodeling encounters with hail. One was May 30, 2001, in the Texas Panhandle, the event known among my friends as “Mile Marker 6.” That’s the sign on I-40 that featured prominently in the video I shot that day.
Even worse was May 12, 2005, near South Plains, Texas, a day that was at least partially redeemed by the really nice tornado that preceded the assault. I’ve remastered my video and produced a new edit that I’ve uploaded to YouTube (below).
All of my hail encounters helped inform the hail barrage that happens during one of the action sequences in my novel Funnel Vision. I once took shelter in a country airport, for instance, though it was in Colorado, not Kansas. And if you turn up the sound in this video, you’ll understand that visceral, chilling feeling of having your car destroyed while you’re still inside it. Enjoy.
Note: For best quality, roll your cursor over the lower right of the video window, click on the gear symbol, and choose 720p HD.