Minor League Odyssey – Day Six (Game Four) - Elizabethton
by, 08-05-2012 at 07:57 PM (921 Views)
No game tonight, as the “bible belt” proved to be all-too-true to it’s nickname and gave the residents here a reenactment of Noah’s flood. I pulled out of the parking lot in Johnson City at 6pm in the rain and promptly splashed water over the front of the hood. You could see the sheets of water running down the streets seeking lowest ground. Deciding that baseball is not worth sacrificing either myself or my vehicle (such as in trying to drive to Elizabethton) I decide to head back inside and await developments. Sure enough, a few minutes later the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Johnson City and Elizabethton with travel not being advised, and by 7pm the game has been officially postponed and rescheduled as a double-header tomorrow (Monday). This is somewhat ironic as it is Faith Night for the Twins, when many local church groups would presumably be attending, but then I remember that there are many other more pressing matters requiring our prayers and perhaps good weather for the night wasn’t on the list.
Being a math major and having studied probability and statistics, I knew when I started this trip that weather would be a factor at some point. I chose to do this trip at this time because the respective schedules of the clubs not only lined up well but also allowed me to build in “weather days.” That being said, I don’t want to redo my schedule completely and risk missing out on one of the later stops, so I had to decide whether to stick around for the double-header or cut my losses and head out for Florida tomorrow morning. My goal was to watch each team twice, but it is more important that I get to see each team at least once (plus the weather service is predicting a 60% chance of rain tomorrow as well, so that double-header is by no means guaranteed), so I am going to end my Elizabethton stay at only one game. At least it’s not a complete loss, as I sit here in the hotel room watching Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN (St. Louis & Milwaukee).
It is a disappointing end to the day, but at least the rest of the day was a pleasant addition to my trip. After going to worship at a local church and doing some laundry, I head out to spend some time in the area this afternoon. Stopping back in Elizabethton I tour the old fort there at Sycamore Shoals State Park and take a short hike along the banks of the Watauga River. Then, to get more flavor of the local area, I intentionally “lose” myself driving at random on some of the roads south of Elizabethton, getting as far as Roan Mountain about twenty miles south, then using my GPS to get me back to Johnson City. The roads in the back country are narrow and in some cases it would be a stretch for two cars to pass side-by-side. There are steep curves and hairpin turns as the roads wind among the mountains. The area is sporadically populated and most of the houses are normal, but there are a couple places where the rundown and ramshackle nature of the domecile start the opening notes of “Dueling Banjos” inside my head. (To be serious, I have yet to meet anyone who does fit the “Deliverance” stereotype; everyone down here has been gracious and friendly). Eventually I get back to Johnson City, sit back in the room and watch a couple hours of golf on TV, and then get ready for the game just as the skies open.
So it’s on to Fort Myers, where I plan to be for the opening of their next homestand on Tuesday.
P.S. My decision turns out to be prescient, as upon arrival in Jacksonville, FL for the night I go online and learn that today's doubleheader was cancelled due to weather.