And so was everything else you could see: pine needles, branches, dirt ....
Bill hollered, "the horses" and ran out the door and across to the Livery to help the people already on the horses. Compass was in the yard getting them mounted up. When I spoke to her a little later, she said she heard a loud wind and before she could hardly look up, she couldn't even open her eyes. When she did get them open, all she saw was dirt whirling everywhere. Her wrangler who was bringing a group in off the mountain trail said he looked up and saw a black column and thought, "we don't get tornadoes".
And that fast ... it was here and gone. No time to think about anything. As Bill was walking back to the Lodge, he looked up and there was one of our biggest trees on top of the roof! The Lodge had protected the lower half, but the wind twisted the top off right at the roof line, and laid it down on the roof. The Kid is on his way up with his bigger chainsaw, so it's going to be a 'chainsaw massacre' on the roof this afternoon. Too bad that wood has to dry a good two years before we can burn it; it was a really healthy tree! This 80 year old building sure is secure, though. We didn't even feel a shudder when the tree hit.
The good news across the street: the Livery horses just turned their butts into the wind and stood their ground; all guests were OK and the ones coming in on the ride were in total amazement at what they had seen. Shortly afterward my mom called and said the TV news had reported a tornado had gone through Allenspark; they didn't know if it was heading toward Estes Park or Lyons so they put warnings out to both towns. We still just call these 'micro-bursts'.