05/07/2010 — Waiting for another storm

May 10, 2010

We awoke and ate our leftover pasta for breakfast once again, and were out on the road pretty early. The forecast for the day said scattered thunderstorms, so we prepared ourselves for the potential rain in the afternoon. The winds were quite strong once again (a sign of the approaching storms) but with the 90 degree heat that onset fairly early, the wind mostly just served as a means of keeping us cool. It did slow us down quite a bit because the winds were blowing directly at us, and therefor making even flats feel like an uphill.

Though we weren’t making the best time, we continued along and at around 25 miles in we crossed through Sebree, KY. After checking out the maps and knowing about how much we were riding each day, I had concluded that our positioning was just a little bit off: it seems that we always fell about 20 miles short of a town with camping, or ride 20 miles past one. In Sebree we stopped for a moment and discussed the idea of taking a short day in order to offset our mileage, so that we could end up closer to places with camping services over the next five days. However, since it was still so early in the day, we decided to continue on ahead.

The winds never broke that day, and actually got considerably stronger as the afternoon went on. I have no actual weather information to back up these statements, but I would have to estimate the regular winds between 15 and 25 mph, with gusts stronger than that.

After crossing through Dixon, KY in the mid/late afternoon we could for the first time see the storm clouds in the distance. Before that the skies were clear, but one could tell just by the feeling that the weather was not calm. By this point we had traveled just over 41 miles in the day, and I decided that I would rather pick a spot to camp and get my tent set up before the rain came rather than after. Though Dawson still felt we could ride further towards the storm and risk getting wet for some extra miles, he agreed to set up camp.

We picked a grassy spot next to a bridge that we could tell that someone owned but it seemed like an area that even the owner wouldn’t care too much about. I set up my tent and packed away the items that I was sure I didn’t want getting wet (camera, computer, and clothes bag) and we sat on the bridge and waited.

Several hours passed, along with several of the storm clouds, without a drop of rain thus far. However, eventually as the sun was beginning to set we saw a section of the storm that appeared to be coming straight for us. It was also the first time that we heard thunder and saw lightning, so we knew that this was a bit more serious. We decided to just eat cold rice for dinner quickly and head to our tents.

After eating and each heading to our tents, we spent the next hour our so shouting to maintain a conversation over the sound of the heavy fall rain on our tents. The sun had set by that point, and as the rain got so hard we could barely hear one another, we decided to go to sleep.

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