Mystery Rally-Rustic Barn-Kieler, Wi.-July23-26th

KielerHailAndy’s “Kielers”

Keiler, Wisconsin, July 24Th, about 6:45 PM, Golf Ball size hail driven by 100 mi/hr. straight line winds assaulted the 11 trailers and tow vehicles which came to the Rally. Whites’, Dixons’, and Humbles’ had their trucks windows shattered. Clark’s car sunroof exploded. Dixon’s’ two side windows on their 1963 trailer shattered. Miraculously, no newer model trailers, with tempered glass windows, broke. However, skylights in many trailers were cracked or destroyed. “Kielers”, too numerous to count, appeared on all the trailers. (“Kielers” are similar to “Bismarcks” but are larger, measuring up to 9 inches in diameter and up to 1.2 inches deep.) Tree limbs fell on other trailers. Of course, the power went out. Many people retreated to the barn basement. The skylight in the barn shattered and it rained in. I stood under the metal clad front porch of the barn holding the door shut, while watching it all unfold. Dave Clark ran to his trailer as it started, to close his vent and got trapped in the trailer as the hail battered it. The noise of the large hailstones breaking glass in the cars and trying to get through the metal roof was unreal. At the time, we were holding happy hour inside the barn after returning from a 50 mile long road rally scavenger hunt (sans trailers) and waiting for the rain to clear before starting our outdoor cook out. Needless to say, plans changed. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

After it settled down a bit we ventured out to survey the damage. It was extensive. This was a new experience for most and one we hope to never repeat. Plastic sheeting, cardboard and massive amounts of duct tape came to the rescue as people readied their rigs for their trip to the next destination.

Most people will be contacting their insurance companies today. The big concern is: how to get the trailers and tow vehicles repaired without having the insurance companies “totaling” them or raising the premiums through the roof next year. Dwight Dixon

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