“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday - Beloit to Washington

Our modern lifestyle insulates us from the effects of nature. My travel journal last year was filled with entries about the terrain and the wind. Driving a car, these are not big factors. But when you are self-propelled, these become front and center in your life.
We had wind in camp at Beloit. It blew dad & mom's tent hard enough to snap one of the fiberglass poles. I'm glad Jay had a backup tent. It was smaller, but we were able to keep dad & mom from having to sleep in the car. We moved the Expedition and the trailer to provide a bit of a wind break and watched as a thunderstorm skirted by off to the south.
The wind blew hard all night and was still blowing in the morning. We faced our longest day of riding: 84 miles. Our first leg went north to Jewell, so riding with a 30 mph tailwind was a breeze. I was glad to see a woman selling cinnamon rolls at the edge of town. I hadn't eaten enough breakfast so was hungry. I ate two. We turned east and everyone struggled with the wind. Our lunch stop was 65 miles out, so I made sure to stop at the SAGs and eat. I also had trail mix and jerky with me.
Lots of people SAGed in after a few miles of facing the wind and the hills. Vans and trailers stuffed with bikes passed me on the road. I realized the wind had less effect on me when late in the afternoon I was passing people. I rarely pass people. But the wind wore everyone down so they were riding slower than me.
I arrived at Washington to find a note on dad & mom's car saying that we were advised to all sleep in the gym. There were storms coming with hail and damaging winds. These were the storms that brought tornadoes to Manhattan and Chapman. Dad and mom had secured a place for us on the gym floor.
After dinner we went to the parking lot to eat the pie and dad & mom had purchased that afternoon. As we sat in our chairs enjoying the strawberry/rhubarb pie, some of the boy scout troop came with a box of pie slices, selling the leftovers from dinner. He walked up to our group and said, "Do you want to buy some pie?" We told him we already had pie. Josh told him it was strawberry/rhubarb. The boy replied, "Wow! That's a lot better than what we've got. All we have is apple and cherry." We all had a good laugh.

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