Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Six Flags Over Texas, Part 3

When we arrived at Six Flags yesterday morning, I asked the attendant at the parking booth if the fee was good for leaving and returning. He surprised me by saying that it was - I was prepared to pay it twice so we could go home and have our dinner, but this was even better. So I paid him the fifteen dollars (perversely charging it to my Disney Rewards Visa) and picked out a place in the lot.

We left that afternoon just at the start of rush hour, so it was pretty slow going on the way home. That was OK, though, as Anna and I were listening to Dragon Rider on audio book and Alyssa quickly fell asleep. Traffic lightened up once we got through Fort Worth, and I thought we were home free.

But then as we got to the edge of the city, traffic began to crawl again. I correctly guessed that the problem was related to the lightening dancing through the dark sky to the west. Soon we were in torrential rains and moving along at a snails pace.

As we got into Willow Park, the rain was horrific. The grass along the edges of the freeway and in the median had become great cesspools, and when we finally made our way off of the interstate we were met with water more than a foot deep running swiftly over the road that leads to our house.

Full size four-wheel drive pickups were turning around. Our little Honda didn't stand a chance. I turned to get back on the freeway, when I remembered a back road that we could use, It was higher than the main road, although there were still several places where the water ran inches deep.

We reached the intersection with the main road, and could see white-water rapids roaring through the ditch and over driveways across the street, and spilling across the road to our south. Fortunately we were turning north. I was tempted to stop and take a picture, but there were cars behind me and I was anxious to get home.

All around us lightening flashed, and the thunder answered with barely any delay. We quickly ran into the house and, after making sure the water was staying outside where it belonged (our house is the highest in the neighborhood), I tried to decide what to do about the rest of the day.

Alyssa's heart was set on going back to Six Flags, but it wouldn't be worth it if it was raining at the park, and if the flash floods kept up we wouldn't be able to get back to the freeway. We decided to eat dinner and see what happened.

I checked the interactive radar map at weather.com, and decided that the storms were going to stay just to the west of Six Flags. I called the girls together, and we said a prayer, asking for guidance. By the time we were done eating, the rain had slowed, and we felt good about returning to the park.

The storm, which was traveling southward, was now heaviest over Fort Worth, and we drove through some very heavy rain. We were 3/4 of the way there, and the storm was as strong as ever. Anna was sure the park would be closed, but I told her to wait and see.

When we were within seven miles of the park, the rain slowed, the sky lightened, and by the time we were five miles away, the rain had stopped.

We made it to the park without further incident, but our adventure for the day was far from over.

Coming up in Part 4 - The Beginning of the End

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