Coach Beach Blog: Lobos4OKC
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  05/31/2013

May 31, 2013

Departing Lobo Softball Field - Friday, May 31 around 6:30 a.m.

First Stop - Amarillo, Texas - Friday, May 31 at 12:11 p.m.

First stop - Amarillo. Coach Beach and former Lobo football player Derek Watson grab a bite to eat on their first break on Friday.

Well we made it to Amarillo! We started the morning bright (or dark) and early with a 4:50am wake up call and we headed to the field to get ready for the long day ahead. We hit the road after a few small snags and our poor trucks topped out at 65mph.

Head coach Erica Beach fueling up! Lobos4OKC

Being passed by semi after semi is a humbling experience. Good news is I think Derek and I have a hold on driving these huge trucks. Plus no wind so far so we are happy about that! We are now sitting in a Texas BBQ place called joe Daddy's and going to enjoy a much needed meal. Looking forward to getting to okc! Next stop...my first truck stop experience in a truck! Haha.
Until next time...Erica and Derek

Second Stop - Coach Beach's First Truck Stop in a Truck - Friday, May 31 at 3:23 p.m.

Storms Put a Halt to Trek - Friday, May 31 at 4:36 p.m.

Well we finally got radio reception in time to hear about 3 super cell storms surrounding I-40 heading towards okc. So after a few emergency broadcasts Derek and I decided to stop at another truck stop to wait this out a while. Tornados are touching down all over and major hail happening.

Threatening weather delays Erica and Derek at a truck stop.

"It's very probable that I will buy something weird that I don't need." - Coach Beach on waiting out the weather at a little truck stop.

One lady at the truck stop had a shattered windshield and roof because of baseball size hail! So here we are sitting at a little truck stop and its very probable that I will buy something weird that I don't need. Please be safe to all those in OKC and surrounding areas. Super scary weather happening right now!

Tornados in the area - Friday, May 31 at 5:24 p.m.

Tornados touching down! Strong ones!

Watching Lobo baseball while waiting out the weather.

We are safe at a truck stop. Watching Lobo baseball on my iPad.

Hunkered down in Clinton, Okla., as National Weather Service issued a tornado emergency for Oklahoma City - Friday, May 31 at 6:35 p.m.

The storms are insane. We are safe and will follow the storm in and try to help those who need it. There will be a lot of damage and injuries. I truly hope the fatalities are limited. We need to get there to help. I really can't believe what I'm seeing and hearing.

at 7:12 p.m.

More and more tornados are hitting the area! We are still hunkered down and waiting but there are overturned semi trucks and downed power lines on I-40. We are so fortunate we pulled off when we did because those tornados would have hit us directly. Downtown got hit, Moore got hit again, and one may be forming over Norman as we speak. It really is a terrifying experience, but Derek and I are more determined than ever to get these good to okc. They need our help more than ever now. We will get there as soon as possible and dig in and help however we can. We will keep Lobo nation updated on our journey. Take care from Clinton, Okla. Erica and Derek

KOAT's Royale Da interviewed coach Beach via phone -- watch at 10 p.m., to hear her account of the evening.

Yesterday's Closing Thoughts -- First Stop on Saturday is El Reno, Okla. - Saturday, June 1 - 9:49 a.m.

Here's a video from last night recapping the day's events. This morning we're stopping in El Reno, Okla., to see how we can help! The area was hit with a tornado last night.

Made it to Moore, Okla. -- Saturday, June 1 around 2:12 p.m. // Photos from El Reno/Moore, Okla.

We made it to Moore, Okla., after making a stop in El Reno. We met up with former Lobo football player (and friend of Derek) Kyle Coulter at a relief site at Baptist College and got to work unloading the goods we brought.

People who have been displaced due to the disaster have already come through to pick up supplies.

We have tickets to tonight's Arizona State vs. Michigan Women's College World Series game tonight at 8:30 p.m. ESPN will do a feature on the Lobos4OKC drive at some point during that broadcast!

Two Trucks Unloaded in central Oklahoma - Saturday, June 1 - evening

We got both of the moving trucks unloaded this afternoon/evening and made some friends along the way. Lots of work accomplished and many people reached -- everyone has a story! At the Women's College World Series games tonight.

Head coach Erica Beach and former Lobo football player Derek Watson at the Women's College World Series games on Saturday night.

Watch the Arizona State vs. Michigan game and look for a feature on the Lobos4OKC drive. Thank you Lobo nation for all your support!

End of a very busy day - Sunday, June 2 at 3:16 a.m.

Hello Lobo Nation! Well it's about 3:15am and this is the end of a very busy day! We woke up after a very crazy first day and the lovely folks at the Days Inn bought our breakfast to thank us for our efforts. Such sweet people! After breakfast we hit the road toward OKC once more. We made a pit stop at a temporary shelter in El Reno, and although they were hit last night by a tornado, there was not a distribution center set up. So we wished them well and hit the road for Moore.

Our contact and former Lobo football player Kyle Coulter gave us the address to a place collecting donations, Hillsdale Baptist College. We pulled up and were the last two trucks they were taking for the day! After a quick inspection I realized they are set up as a sort of "market" for those hit by the storms. People register when they come in and basically get a shopping cart and grab the things they need most. Everything is very organized thanks to so many generous volunteers! They were fabulous in helping us unload two loaded trucks and we had some fun in the process. We got to meet some amazing people and it really was such a blessing to be able to be a part of this. Everyone kept saying how grateful they were for New Mexico's support! They loved us so much that they agreed to help us unload the UPS truck tomorrow afternoon. So as of now that is our plan.

Another treat we received was a ticket to the Women's College World Series. Myself, Derek, Kyle, and his wife, Amy, and young baby son all went to eat then we were able to catch the last eight innings of the amazing 15-inning nail biter between Florida and Nebraska! It was an amazing game but definitely pushed my belove ASU SunDevil game really late. Kyle had to leave but Derek and I stayed the whole time to root on my alma mater. Now it's 3:15am and we just checked into our hotel. I think I'll be sleeping in tomorrow before we unload the last truck! For now...so long from Oklahoma City! We truly appreciate you all!!

Erica and Derek

At the heart of it in Moore - Sunday, June 2 - 3:14 p.m. - Scenes from Moore, Okla.

We made it to the heart of the devastation today. This experience has brought me to tears and it's just so hard to comprehend what this community has been through. Right

now we are at Plaza Towers elementary and looking around the memorial that has been set up for the seven children who were killed here. I'm pretty emotional and speechless at this point so I'll leave you for now. Bless Us All.

Back home, safe and sound in ABQ - Monday, June 3 at 4:36 a.m.

Well, it's 4:30 am and we finally made it back to Albuquerque! We spent all day in Moore and left OKC around 5:30. We had to stop a few times but had a great dinner at The Big Texan in Amarillo. No I didn't try the 72oz steak, Haha. Anyways we hit some wind west of Amarillo which made the drive interesting, but we finally made it safe and sound. We will fill up and return the trucks tomorrow and this journey will officially be done. Thank you again to everyone involved in this endeavor. The people of Moore and surrounding areas were so grateful!