Eastbound Concluded

Day two of the Moore, OK to Bonita Springs, FL leg went much smoother than day 1.  Other than fog in the first hour, the weather was fair until the last half hour or so.

As I approached Port Charlotte I noticed a small but very dark storm cloud ahead.  I could see the rain falling and stopped to put the rain cover on my tank bag.  I thought about digging out my rain jacket and gloves, but at that point I was near the end, and the weather was hot, and I just wanted to get there.  I figured a short shower would be refreshing.  I pressed on.

All of a sudden, the sky opened up and rain started pouring down in buckets.  It happened so fast, the rain had nowhere to go and I had to reduce speed to 20 mph to safely get through the 3″ of water on the freeway.   Even at that speed I caught up to another motorcyclist, riding a ’70s BMW motorcycle with at least 3 duffle bags strapped to the bike.  His lightweight poncho was whipping in the wind as the rain streamed off his long beard under his half helmet.   As I came abreast, he turned and gave me a sheepish grin and raised one arm in a shrug as if to say, “what the hell?”  I nodded in vigorous agreement, waved back, and continued on.  After two miles, the rain suddenly stopped and the sun was out again.  Florida.

Twenty minutes later, as I pulled off the freeway, a rainbow appeared ahead, pointing the way to Mary and Dick’s house.  I can’t think of a more fitting end to this leg.

All told, in four and a half days of riding, I traveled 3,275 miles through eleven states, each with unique scenery and local character.  Although it took twice as long as flying, this was much more fun.

It’s been a good visit, with equal parts catching up and computer tech support.  Friday is my niece Caitlin’s high school graduation.  She’s already thinking ahead about attending college in Kansas.

Tuesday, I’m back on the bike.  I’m planning a two day trip up to Cary, North Carolina, with a short stop at Zpacks to look at backpacking equipment for next year’s Pacific Crest Trail hike.  We’ll see what happens with the weather.

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