Oklahoma City, OK -> Bonita Springs, FL, Day 1

Well, that sucked.

After looking at the various weather forecasts, I decided to leave early Saturday morning to try to take advantage of a fair weather window to head East.  And as I rolled out of Chris’ driveway at 0520 this morning, the stars were shining and the traffic was light.  Until 30 miles into the ride, when I ran into the storm front.  Crap.  What I should have done was turned around and gone back to bed for a few hours.  Instead, picture me huddling under an overpass in the dark, breaking out the rain gear.  The next 6 hours ranged from moderate to torrential rain.

Towards the end of the day I got a break, but as I crossed into Alabama, it started pouring again and I bailed out at a Holiday Inn in Guin.  I couldn’t help but laugh at the contrast between me, waiting in line in my rain gear to check-in, creating a puddle and looking like I had been dragged behind a “deadliest catch” fishing boat for 6 hours, surrounded by an entire wedding party and guests who’s outdoor ceremony was being moved indoors due to rain.  I guess grey tuxes are in this year.

Thank goodness for Gore-Tex.  Although, I learned that if you have waterproof gloves with long gauntlets, and you put those gauntlets over the sleeves of your rain shell, the rain hits your shoulders/arms and runs down the sleeves into the gloves.  It magically converts your rain gloves into a water bladder, which in some circumstances could be useful, but wasn’t a big help today.  After pouring a liter of water out of each glove, I tucked them under my rain shell and spent the remainder of the ride ignoring the squishiness in the fingers.  The rest of the gear performed admirably, although I think at one point I forgot to reseal the fly on my over-pants after a pit stop and ended up with damp undies.

The other unexpected delay today was road construction on US 40 just east of Memphis.  The sign said “EXPECT STOPPED TRAFFIC” and boy weren’t they kidding.  Stopped as in turn your car/motorcycle off.  Stopped as in watch the driver of the tow truck in front of me get out and climb up on top of his cab and field-strip and then reassemble his light bar. Obviously, this was something that had been on his TO-DO list for awhile, waiting until he finally had the time.  All told, lost about an hour.  At least it wasn’t raining at that point.

Riding hours:  10.5;  Miles traveled:  695;  States traveled:  Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama.

Tomorrow’s Plan:  triple check the weather radar before setting out.  It’s possible I’ll get to Bonita Springs tomorrow night, but that’s probably too far for a single day, especially since it will be hard to avoid more rain.


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