Lovely weather. Rain. Thunder. Lightning. Plenty more rain. Heavy storm. Some sunshine and blue skies. That was today. I don’t think I made it too far today due to a rather late start. I woke up at 6:30 to have breakfast with Bill and Kathy and returned to bed shortly thereafter for a little snooze before beginning the day. Well, that snooze turned into a few more hours of sleeping. I was tired. You would think with yesterday being my initial departure date, then taking an extra day off before leaving, that I would have been all set to go this morning. Wrong. It only took about an hour and a half to pack up, but I didn’t get out of bed until 11, so I wasn’t really on the road until about 1pm. Oh well.
The day started out nice: blue skies, white clouds, a bike path to ride on. By three the dark clouds rolled in the first time and let down some water. It rained for about 10 minutes, just long enough for me to get wet, pull over and put on my rain gear. It stopped shortly after that for a while. At 4:30, as I was taking a break to cook and eat some rice, showers and dark clouds resumed. I finished up my meal, packed up, and headed out. The rain started light and picked up a bit quickly. By 5:30 it was pouring down heavy. Big, fat, heavy drops coming down with a slight headwind. I couldn’t ride in it, not with the busy traffic on the highway. So I began looking for a church to stop at. Although I was in a small town, it didn’t look promising. I stopped at a Super Stop and Shop (grocery store) to find shelter for a bit and hopefully talk to some people. With the wind picking up, even under the overhang outside the store, I couldn’t find good shelter. I brought my bike inside, as there was a kind of entrance way before entering the actual store. I was able to use the restroom and dry up a bit and get a bagel. The storm was fierce. It poured for a good half hour with some wind and lots of lightning. As I was entering the store, a bolt struck right outside. The thunder was loud and all the lights went out in the store. They came back on within a matter of seconds, but it was quite a sight and experience. Just after 6, the storm had passed through and blue skies began to emerge again. I pushed on, hoping to find something soon.
I stopped at a fruit stand to get a kiwi and possibly ask for some direction to a church. A man there was very friendly, told me about the only church he knew of down the road. He also sent me off with some free fruit- more kiwi, bananas, and some peaches. I was very grateful. That will make for a great breakfast tomorrow. I was able to find the church he mentioned. It’s old and beautiful, but little in the way of overhangs, save a gazebo. There were some friendly people working here tonight, Pete, Doug, Jennifer, and Allen, making sauce for a spaghetti dinner tomorrow night. They let me use the bathroom in the church and struck up some friendly conversation. They also shared a beer and some cookies with me. Nice folks. So I’m here now under the gazebo. It’s actually pretty nice. There are power outlets, a overhead light that I can turn off and on, and a picnic table. Quite nice. So long as there are no real heavy winds tonight, I should stay dry. It is a bit nippy out tonight though. Some layers will keep me warm.
The new rain gear is working well so far. It is completely waterproof, as long as I button the buttons on the front over the zipper. It does get a bit hot in the jacket and pants, and they don’t breathe at all, so my sweat just kind of sticks around, but it’s definitely a better situation that what I was working with before. Thanks, again, Bill. Some of my gear, unfortunately, shared a different fate. I guess I didn’t close my bags up well enough, and with the heavy, heavy rain that came down, it found a way into my rear panniers. Nothing is soaked, just some things a bit wet. I’ll have to dry it out tonight. All of my electronics were safe, luckily.
It feels good to be back on the road. I had such a great stay in Rhode Island with my family for eight days, and now I have a few months of traveling to look forward to. In my head I know that I have a long way to go. Anytime I talk to someone and tell them I am heading to the west coast, they remind me that it is a long way. Still, the distance and time have not fully sunk in yet. I suppose that’s a good thing. Taking this journey day by day is probably my best option. If I can’t picture my final destination, it’s much more difficult to become anxious about getting there. It’s going to be a while on the road. I anticipate much more adventure on this leg of the journey, if for no other reason than the prolonged timeframe. Still, I’ll take everything the same as I did before and have faith that everything will be okay, and plenty of wonderful people will make my acquaintance along the way. I’ll keep you updated.