Been awhile since we rode in rain!!
Jul 30, 2018
|It was a toss up this morning. Take a chance and ride in the rain or stay another day and be bored out of our heads! After careful consideration and study of the radar, we decided we would ride. Looked like the rain was mostly north of us, maybe we would get a shower but we were going!
First stop . . .breakfast! We had planned on riding down to the little cafe near the ferry for breakfast, but we were a little quick this morning and arrived 40 minutes before it opened! We could see through the window, the table full of men drinking their morning coffee inside, but hated to barge in! Another coffee drinker arrived and told us to come on in! He even poured me a coffee and Rose came out of the kitchen as sweet as can be, and said she would be happy to make sure we had breakfast! Could we wait a minute? She had to go and get the biscuits out of the oven!!! Homemade biscuits fresh from the oven! OMG!
These were all such comforting messages for my day! You know I was so full of apprehension as I was writing last night! I make it all up for myself, not sure why but it persisted this morning! To walk into this cozy cafe first thing this morning in the quiet early hours of the day, to be greeted by friendly welcoming faces filling the room, lovely Rose and homemade biscuits! How bad could the day be? It was off to a great start!
Breakfast was delicious, the eggs perfect, the coffee plentiful and the kindness so sincere! Off to the ferry! There are not many places to cross the Ohio River. Cairo, Illinois and Paducah Kentucky by bridge and the ferry in Cave In Rock, Illinois. The skipper was not the 80 year old I read about, but he made quick work of the navigation to turn at the last minute and match up perfectly with the waiting dock. We rolled on with 2 other cars and no less than 5 minutes later we rolled off into the state of Kentucky! State number 9!!
It was all off to a great start, no need for all the apprehension as I had made myself believe! The landscape rolled, but we have accomplished so much up to this point, they created no problems what so ever! In fact it was quite beautiufl and just oh so peaceful! We travel with only the Adventure Cycling maps that lead us on our route, so we don't have much perspective on what is around us. But we felt as if we were definitely off the beaten track and out in the middle of the woods. The road surface was awesome, smooth and fast. We had such a nice morning! We could see the rain ahead and picked up our pace knowing that the first little settlement was only about 5 miles ahead. Just as we rolled into the area, it started to sprinkle a bit, the rain was on us and there is was!! A shelter!! Reminiscent of the day we found the church just in time in Montana!! Just as we rolled our back wheels under the shelter the sky opened up! The difference was it was warm enough we didn't even bother with rain coats! Not like the freezing cold the first time. This little shelter even had a plug for me to charge my phone while we waited for the rain to move on!
It din't take long, maybe 20 minutes and we were back on the bikes. Being very careful to make sure we have not missed a turn out here! If we make a wrong turn out here, who knows where we would end up, and with rain out there it would not be fun! We rode thru farmland and deep, dense woods. Up long hills and down, but it was all enjoyable. The rain continued to come and go and then it came in a torrential curtain. We tried to carry on and ride, we were already wet, nothing to stand under but our glasses were fogging up, our mirrors were hard to use so we pulled over to try and get some protection from the dense, tall trees and we pulled out our rain cover and just stood under it! Its amazing how warm it was under there! But it gave us a bit of rest, kept us from getting more wet (does that matter when you are soaked to the skin?) and i was a little chilly! Chilly??? Its true, the temps were only in the 70's and that feels cool!
Again we may have waited about 20 minutes and the rain let up, off we went. We now were only about 5 miles from the first place we knew we could get fresh water and a snack, Smithland, KY. The people in the convenience store were the first people we had seen in 40 miles!! Very few cars had passed us the whole morning! that was fine with us, it makes it so much more relaxed when there are no cars.
Leaving Smithland, our maps took us back onto one of the lesser roads thru the surrounding hills. With a name like Coon Ridge and reading the topo maps, it was a back road with more of the same rolling roads. I took a quick look at the maps and noticed there was the main state highway that reached our destination as well and chances are it would have a much more general grade to the road because it was a state highway. There would be more traffic, but it was shorter and there was more rain out there so we took a little cheater shortcut! I can't believe how fast we got to our destination! And just as we walked inside (yes we planned ahead with the rain!!) the hotel, the skies once again opened up!!! Talk about perfect timing!
So the rain fell, we rode in the heavy rain most of the day getting soaked and drying out, soaked again and so forth and we survived! We didn't even really mind it very much! It was so warm, it almost felt good keeping us cooler as we climbed up a few grades. I kept thinking back to that beautiful view from the ferry. The rays of sunshine reaching out of the clouds, touching the water bringing total peace to those that gazed at it! I read it as a message, that whatever the day held we would be fine! And we were! It was just rain. If we had to ride in rain, it was great we had no other distractions like traffic or nasty road surfaces.
Just to make an cozy end to another day of 50 miles we had a picnic in the room for our dinner! We are in a restaurant desert! Nothing around but a gas station, but do they make good pizza! So we loaded up on fun food (as healthy as we could find!) and staying out of the rain for the evening.