Today is Day 3, the day after the day after we started. I was dreading what I would feel like today. This is the day that the muscle soreness will likely catch up to us. Perhaps my expectations were set sufficiently low for myself, because I think I feel pretty good. I mostly feel it in my back, but that might have more to do with sleeping on the ground. My sit bones though are really wishing I had a bit more junk in my trunk. We’ve spent over 11 hours on the bikes in the past two days. Yesterday I could barely sit at the picnic table for breakfast.
I had occasion to break out the sewing kit today. I cut through the tent stuff sack while cutting off the Warning “Don’t light a fire in your tent or you’ll get a Darwin award” Label. It probably also said “Do not remove this label”, so serves me right. I do wish I had paid more attention in Home Ec.
We have started to hit some rolling hills, the prelude to the Texas Hill Country. I think I prefer this over completely flat terrain. The brief relief we get from costing downhill is worth the extra effort on the uphill. I may think differently when these hills turn into mountains.
Grocery stores have been a bit hard to come by the past two days. We haven’t passed a full service grocery store since we left Harris County. We stopped in a little country store to get some goods for lunch today. The shelves and the stuff on the shelves were dusty. But we were hungry so we grabbed a can of beans and some potato chips to go with the other food we had in our bags. Should have given us pause when the owner had to rub the can on the backside of his overalls in order to read the price tag It wasn’t until later that we noticed the beans had expired…in 2010.
They tasted ok. Our metabolisms are in crisis mode so I think they attack and process anything we put in our stomachs. Those beans and whatever else they contained didn’t stand a chance. Expiration dates are overrated.
Fortunately, we came across another little store later in the day with shelves offering slightly more variety of more recently stocked items.
After lunch, I was welcomed back onto the road by the sound of a flat tire rolling on pavement. The tiniest piece of glass had wedged itself between the treads of my tire. I’m a bit out of practice, but I’m sure after a few thousand miles I’ll be changing tubes and tires like an Indy pit crew.
We were cycling under grey skies and looming clouds all day. We were hoping the weather would hold out, but our luck ran out and it starts to
rain pour. We are on some backcountry road with no shelter in sight. The only option is to put on the rain gear and spin, just keep spinning, and hope we are moving in the opposite direction of the storm.
The thunder and lighting are wild, the kind where it sounds like the sky is breaking open. I shudder and duck lower on my bike each time this happens, as if this will keep me any safer.
I can’t see. The sunscreen I put on this morning is running into my eyes and my sunglasses are fogging up. I need the sunglasses though, because I just went down a hill at 32mph. The sunglasses keep me from getting pelted in the eyeball by giant raindrops.
There’s 1/2 to 1 inch of standing water on the road now, deeper in other areas where it’s started to pool. Each time a vehicle passes I turn my head to avoid getting sprayed in the face by whatever their tires are kicking up.
We just passed the sign indicating three more miles to Buescher State Park where we’re camping tonight. A truck slows and the driver asks if we need help. I peek inside and see the beautifully, dry upholstery. We’re absolutely soaked. We would destroy the inside of his truck instantly. Even though I would love to be out of the rain, we don’t need help. We are ok, we’re just a little uncomfortable at the moment. We thank him and say we’re ok.
My nose has started to run. Now I can’t tell if it’s snot or water running down my face. Gross.
We pull into the campground, the rain still coming down in torrents, but across from our campsite is a Civilian Conservation Corps picnic pavilion. We look at each other thinking the same thing, we’re totally sleeping in this tonight…