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DAILY REPORT: The weather report predicted a windy day. It would start at 10knt and increase to 20+knts. Sunny day w/ possible thunder showers in the afternoon.
We got up a little later than what I wanted. Ideally we would get out before the wind really got howling but sometimes things just don't work out the way you want. We knew we had a 40 min drive for Skip to drop us off where we started yesterday some 30 mile outside of town. We needed to get gas and stopped just at the edge of town. It turned out that the attendant was power washing the driveway and Skip talked him into allowing us to use his power washer to clean the car and trailer......it had been awhile and Skip wanted to make sure we looked good while driving down the road! It turned out that the attendant was prior service US Coast Guard and had been injured/shot while doing drug ops in the Caribbean. Thanks for serving your country!
So the long and short it was 1000 by the time we got on the road. Through out the morning the 10 knt wind was on our starboard (right) beam (side) to just aft abeam and getting stronger. To really take advantage of the pace line we basically had to ride abreast of one another which is somewhat dangerous with the width of the shoulder and the rumble strip. We talked safety several times but the gusting wind made things unpredictable. On one occasion the boys touched bikes but thankfully no one went down. There definitely was an adrenaline rush though for the boys and exchange a few choice words to one another!
In the morning we came across a number of horses and colts along the road. We decided to stop and take a look. they seemed friendly enough so the boys went over and were ultimately able to pet them. Skip showed up shortly there after. John really wanted to make friends, so he went back and got some water for them. They seemed to appreciate the H2O.
We stopped for lunch at Muddy Flats. By then the wind was really howling and the boys were getting tired so it was good place to stop and recuperate. Granny Carole and Grandpa Bob were also there. Skip had found a nice bit of shade under some Whispering Aspens at a DOT building. By now the wind was gusting up to 25-30 knts (yep the calibrated sailors eye!) and our road had shifted directly into the wind. The boys were anything but enthused to ride another 50 miles into Rawlings!!
After lunch I told them to "Cowboy up and lets go!" Skip initially was driving along the shoulder of the road acting as a wind block. We tried that for a couple of miles but ultimately decided that it was too unsafe and sent him on ahead to our next water stop. For the next 35 miles we had gusts of winds that shifted from ahead to the beam; gusts of wind that would nearly push the bike out from under us! We really had to be careful that we didn't get pushed into the traffic that was going by. As predicted we got a few showers but it wasn't too significant and we dried out after 5 mins or so.
We crossed two more continental divides today. That now brings us up to six crossings so far. We are now seeing a lot more bikers. Some are going from East to West and others like ourselves are going West to East all taking different variations of the TransAmerican Route. We met Andrew who was from KY and was also doing a charity ride. There was also Paul from Northern England. A very friendly chap. They both started from Astoria, OR on 19 Jun. They were amazed how far we traveled since we left Silverdale on 28 Jun. Today we have traveled over 1300 miles so we are officially a quarter done w/ our ride. Hard to believe!!
We checked into the Quality Inn of Rawlings around 1730. Long day. Took a quick shower and went to the hotel restaurant for dinner. Granny Carole and Grandpa Bob were also staying in the same hotel. Tina the hotel receptionist gave us some free dinner and breakfast pass to help support the Riding4Hope Team which was very nice. At the end of dinner, the Grandparents surprised John and James with a birthday cake and cards. It was very sweet of them. They will have headed back to FL on Sunday and wanted to celebrate their BDay a little early. Their actual BDay is 31 JUL. Interestingly for at least the last five years, the boys have not had a BDay at home. They have always been on some Boy Scout adventure and have celebrated their BDay at some cool places ranging from the National Jamboree to Philmont. I guess this summer will be no different.
I did have a electronic casualty in which my Blackberry no longer would play music through the ear piece. It appears that the plug has failed on the device. It will be over a month before I can get a replacement from the Lab and the lack of music for the ride was not an option. So this evening I went out in town and found a cheap MP3 player I could use. Unfortunately the store I stopped at had only 1G version so I expect I'll be listening to a number of repeating songs since the device can only hold 500 songs or so which I will easily go through over ethe course of a day's ride.
Tomorrow we will be leaving WY and entering CO. That will make state #5 and will obviously include the major climbs of our entire ride. Now that sounds like fun!!
Thanks for joining us.....ride safely......and keep the wind to your back!!
The Riding4Hope Team
(David, John, James & Skip)
Signing out 7/14/09; 0150
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