June 7, Monday
Storms again through the night. Packed up wet gear again. Some tenters woke to being in a pond. The business community set up a huge white tent and served a breakfast ala cart buffet that made for a great start. Clouds are quickly approaching from the West (just like yesterday). Dark clouds. The four of us have decided that Amy and I are slower and will stick together. Dan and Cody will ride faster, but will wait for us at each sag stop to make sure all is well. This works fine, and Dan and Cody take lead today.
An hour and a half into the ride the storm overtakes us (8:30 a.m.). This is different than yesterday. Wind and horizontal rain, then the lightning starts. First far away, then a mile to the left. Then, when I view Amy on my right I see a lightning strike in the field behind her, no more that a half mile away. Time to seek shelter! About 40 of us find a farmer who opened up his tool shed for us to wait it out. Then he brings out towels to dry off, and stays with us the chat. Real nice guy. The picture is blurred, but I still liked it. The farmer is in the middle, of course. That old shed had the same smell as my Grandpa's tool shed and my Uncles tool shed (both farmers). That blend of dirt and grease and oil and metal parts. It was comforting.
As time passes, though, we loose precious body heat in our tight thin riding clothes. After an hour or so the rain lets up a little, the wind dies a lot and the lightning stops. Amy and I pound down an energy bar each because we're starting to shiver, and hit the road. Doesn't take long to build our heat back up. In about five miles we hit Nicodemus, a historic Kansas town known for it's early black citizens. The historical center, run by National Parks, opened for us and let us get warm. We caught up with Dan and Cody there, and told stories.
It was a long day. Got into Osborne and all the food was there at the High School. Nice. Plenty to choose from. I had a Taco Salad and an ice cream (ice cream is a recurring obsession). Had a great evening meeting. A local singer/songwriter was there to help us all day, plus sing a song for us. At the meeting, a long-time staffer told us today was in the top three for bad days. They have never seen a lightning storm light that before. That makes me feel a little better.
Vavg 11.5 mph
5 hrs 59 min 41 sec