Dispatch from the Weinermobile: Outrunning the Hurricanes

Lost Girls, United States — By on September 25, 2008 at 10:56 am

Weinermobile girlsWell, pass the relish and say “Hot Dog!” Today we are psyched to announce that Oscar Meyer Weinermobile girls and fellow LGs Molly Fergus and Selena Armendarez will be blogging regularly on Lost Girls World. They’ll be sharing tales of their about their on-the-road adventures in the US every few weeks. Their inaugural post details how their got their um, buns, out of the path of the Hurricanes Gustav and Ike last month. To get the “frank” details about their assignment inside the country’s most recognizable vehicle, click here.

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Outrunning the Hurricanes

by Molly Fergus and Selena Armendarez

Selena

“Bread! Isn’t that what you get during a hurricane?” I asked Selena as I grabbed a wheat loaf from the picked-over Wal-Mart shelves. I threw the bread in the cart next to a case of Diet Coke, a box of Zebra Cakes, and a packet of tuna.

“I think chocolate is more important,” she answered and reached for a box of chocolate-covered graham crackers — the kind that taste really good smothered in peanut butter.

We were stocking our Wienermobile for what might be one of the ultimate travel adventures: evacuating from a natural disaster. Based in Lafayette, LA for a week, we had immersed ourselves in Cajun culture – and by immerse, we mean chowing on crawfish, dancing Cajun two-steps, and spotting alligators during swamp tours.

Hurricane GustaveThen Hurricane Gustav swirled into the Gulf of Mexico over Labor Day weekend, and our eating/dancing/swamping tours were halted. The first major hurricane to target Louisiana’s coast since Katrina and Rita in 2005, Gustav threatened to become a Category 5 storm – meaning winds would have topped 155 m.p.h.

And there we were in the middle of evacuation procedures. With a Wienermobile.

So we stockpiled on chocolate and caffeine and hit the road at 4 a.m. In July, we stayed in Corpus Christi, TX during Dolly, a Category 1 storm that beat up Texas’ South Padre Island. This time, we feared gridlocked evacuation traffic and empty gas stations as the entire Louisiana coastline headed north.

What we didn’t expect: that stressed out, anxious evacuees would forget their troubles long enough to smile, honk and wave at the giant hot dog zipping down the expressway.

We traveled for six hours before we landed in Fairfield, TX, a small town between Houston and Dallas, where a Holiday Inn-full of evacuees greeted us.

MollyFortunately, Gustav mellowed before striking Louisiana and came onshore as a Category 2 storm. The winds and storm surge still damaged parts of the coast but spared the state from the anticipated devastation.

Since Gustav, we’ve evacuated a third hurricane; Ike hit the Texas and western Louisiana coastlines while we were hotdogging around Houston. We left the storm to hide out in San Antonio, where we brought the Wienermobile to a shelter for a few hours and donated toys to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts.

In both situations, we were thrilled to give evacuees a temporary distraction. It reminded us that even though we embarked on his yearlong road trip to see the country and skip the 9-to-5, traveling is not an entirely selfish endeavor. Travel changes us Lost Girls, but we also impact the world – whether we drive giant hot dogs or volunteer in Kenya.


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