…and we thought it was cold and windy yesterday…
Today was one of those days we normally wouldn’t even attempt to ride in, but the kind people at the petroleum plant had been so kind as to host us one night, we simply couldn’t ask to stay another. We packed up and headed out into the cold wind.
“We’ve got nearly everything against us,” John pointed out. “Wind, rain, and cold. The only thing in our favor is hills – at least it’s fairly flat.”
He just about summed up our day right there.
Sailors have a saying that below 40° it’s lawless; below 50° it’s godless. We’re in godless territory now and, even though we’re not in the water, I think that’s a very apt description.
The wind was relentless and there was absolutely nowhere to go to escape it. At one point we found a tiny bus stop and took shelter for a few minutes. Daryl stumbled toward the shelter with tears streaming down his frozen cheeks. “My feet hurt,” he sobbed.
I bundled him up with thin wool socks, a plastic bag, thick wool socks, another plastic bag, then his shoes. Under his tights I covered his legs from ankles to knees with heavy wool leg warmers. It kinda, sorta worked – at least he wasn’t in enough pain for tears any more.
The road surface was dismal and my top speed for the day was 12 kph. John, on the tandem, couldn’t even come close to that. Patches of loose gravel threatened to send us tumbling to the ground, gusts of wind threw us all over the road, and the cold ate into our cheeks, fingers, and toes.
By three in the afternoon, 28K short of where we hoped to be tonight, we saw dark rain clouds amassing ahead. Sometimes, enough is enough and you accept defeat. We surrendered to Mother Nature and her warriors and headed back off the road to camp.
But then… the promised rain came down and we scrambled about setting up the tents and all the time the ground was growing muddier and muddier. Cakes of mud built up on our shoes turning our feet into leaden weights and everything that touched the ground was immediately covered with a thick layer of goo.
We’re now tucked into our tents enjoying a few hours of peacefulness as raindrops go pitter-patter upon our nylon homes.
I don’t even want to think about how we’re going to get back out to the road tomorrow…
Kilometers today: 35
Kilometers to date: 27478