The twister and the tent

Pastor David MacDonald reports in with this story from Red Oak…

I am pastor of Faith Community Church in Red Oak, Iowa. We’re housing approximately 2,000 RAGBRAI’ers. In the early afternoon, a sudden dust devil pulled up several tents and one went airborne and landed on our steeple.

I thought you’d get a kick out of the pictures.



Etta Gilchrist, Jul 21, 2009 at 9:02 am

Is this called a ringer?

indianafrank, Jul 21, 2009 at 9:30 am

If you’ve ever read the forum, people tend to plan for every possible contingency on Ragbrai, but this is one event I think no one ever even dreamed of.
I wonder whose tent it was and whether he got it down.

holly TIGGER, Jul 21, 2009 at 11:41 am


rick stephens, Jul 21, 2009 at 11:47 am

The owner of that tent had better start going back to church and increase his Sunday contributions!

patricia karasov, Jul 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Say hi to CHAU!!!!!!!!!!

Air Force Tent, Jul 21, 2009 at 7:30 pm

The tent belonged to the Air Force riders. Pretty funny when their tent took off without wings…

Adam Swartz, Jul 21, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Wow is all I can say. Awesome set of pictures. I like the title. “The twister and the tent”

Marjorie Joslin, Jul 22, 2009 at 8:56 am

About the funniest thing I have ever seen on these many years of Ragbria ! And the fact that is was an Airforce team tent makes the story that much better. Fabulous story and photos!

Sandy Lozier, Jul 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Somewhere there is video of the tent blowing around and getting stuck on the steeple. I’ve looked at the news websites and You Tube but can’t find it. Anyone know where the video is?

Carolyn weber, Jul 22, 2009 at 6:56 pm

I saw it happen. It was hilarious

bunymom, Jul 22, 2009 at 9:23 pm

We’re wanting to find the video also to show it at church on Sunday morning for those who weren’t there in person. Hope someone will post here with a link. Thanks!

PastorDB, Jul 22, 2009 at 10:42 pm

I’ve been reminded that the air force team that we were HONORED to host had a great motto: Aim Higher. Talk about obedience! Even the equipment!

Thomas, Jul 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm


This is the team’s webpage.

They haven’t posted any video from this year’s ride yet.

Hopefully that will change by the end of the ride though…

S. Holleman, Jul 24, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Gives a whole new meaning to the old “Theres no place like home” click your heels dorthoy!

Tim Mahony, Jul 25, 2009 at 9:18 pm

I ride with and maintain the WEB site for the Air Force Team. One of our riders has a video (do not know how good) and I collected a few email addresses of people who took pictures. We will post what we get.


Tim, Jul 26, 2009 at 6:03 am

I am am an Air Force Cycling team member, and maintain the website:
I witnessed the event and collected a few email addresses from people with cameras and have a team member who took video of it.
I do not know of the quality but we will post what we get.

Patti, Jul 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Thanks for sharing that Truman! God keep you all safe!

AFCTWEB, Jul 27, 2009 at 8:33 am

It was an Air Force Tent. If I get the name, I will post it if the individual is willing.

One of our members shot some video … I will post it at:
if I get it.


JW, Jul 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm

I saw this from our camp at the bottom of the hill, I thought it was a right out of the wizard of Oz, it was the strangest thing I saw all week!

Dwight Christensen, Aug 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I took several pictures too. One pic is when the owner of the tent came back just as the firefighters with the ladder truck were getting the tent off the steeple. I had the owner hold up his hand as if he was holding the tent in the air. I suggested to the AirForce that they should give this guy a choice between two awards, either tent stakes or a slingshot to shoot down his tent next time a twister takes it away. 😉

V8hemimom, Dec 23, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Talk about Faith!

Jack Liike, Jan 5, 2010 at 11:32 am

Turns out the tent belonged to one of the Team Air Force members – those guys can fly ANYTHING can’t they!!!!

Norberto Drozdowski, Jul 29, 2010 at 1:50 am

You lost me, buddy. I mean, I suppose I get what youre saying. I get where youre coming from. But you just seem to have forgotten that you will discover folks out there who can see this issue for what it really is and could possibly not agree with you. You seem to alienate a whole bunch of individuals who could possibly have been fans of your website.

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