Taking adventure travel to a whole other level, Greg Johnson, Chris Chittick and Ricky Forbes have made a living out of storm chasing across North America. On the new CMT series Tornado Hunters, this trio travel across North America to capture stunning video of extreme weather and bad-ass tornados, chronicling their adrenalin-filled adventures, the landscapes and some unforgettable experiences at pit-stops along the way.
Collectively, you’ve racked up considerable mileage and seen a few places. What’s your favourite place on Earth?
Greg: Colorado, New Mexico and the Bay of Fundy.
Chris: The U.S. southeast and New Orleans.
Ricky: Black Hills in South Dakota.
What’s your favourite souvenir of all time?
Greg: “I’ll take this one. I was in Joplin, Missouri, in 2011 — the site of the deadliest tornado in the U.S. in over 60 years — and it was a very heartbreaking thing to see; a very emotional time. In all the rubble, one of the things that I grabbed and kept was a Bible that had been torn and ripped apart [from the storm] and was full of mud and debris. I felt it was a very interesting symbol of that event and I’ve kept it ever since.”
What do you consider your essential travel accessory?
Ricky: “I’ll do Greg’s. His essential travel accessory is as much mousse as possible. He has beautiful hair but it’s not au natural, he needs some product and he doesn’t go anywhere without it!”
Greg: “OK, I’ll do Ricky’s, then. His essential accessory is his giant rubber band so he can work out. Like, when we stop at gas stations he’ll pull it out and work on his biceps.”
Ricky: “Chris’s is flip flops. Because, of course, when you’re in extreme weather situations and there could be roads washed out, and debris in the area, the first thing you want to worry about is footwear and Chris’s battle on that is to leave his feet as vulnerable as possible.”
For those less inclined to storm chase, what are some must-do things or must-see places across Canada or the U.S. that you’d recommend?
Chris: “I don’t know about the other guys but for me, Sedona, Arizona. That whole area is absolutely beautiful.”
Greg: “I’m a big foodie so when we travel I like to hit as many interesting places to eat as possible. One of my favourites is a place in Sikeston, Missouri, called Lambert’s Café. It’s authentic southern food and has a really neat atmosphere.”
Ricky: “I really enjoy terrain and natural beauty so I really love the Ozarks, Arkansas. It’s a beautiful drive, with luscious green growth, rocky areas and just a different culture of people as well. It’s really incredible to visit.”
Tornado Hunters premiers Oct. 18 at 9pm ET/PT on CMT in Canada