Saturday, October 5th, started out as usual . . . a 64 mile day ahead of us. We didn’t think too much of it when we started out under cloudy skies with a few sprinkles off and on. For the first time, however, our riding directions didn’t seem to add up to where we were supposed to be. Somehow, road names didn’t necessarily coincide with what we were expecting and we took a couple of wrong turns. To make things worse, one “local” gave us a bum steer, advising us wrongly. No big deal, except we added a few unexpected miles to our day and lost some valuable time which we could have used, in retrospect.
At lunch time, Carol offered to make us another round of her gourmet sandwiches, but we voted to hit a restaurant instead, which again, in retrospect, turned out to be a big mistake. Not only was the meal not all that special, but we lost more time than we could afford. Refreshed nonetheless, we got back on our bikes. Things went well in the afternoon until . . . our first flat tire occurred . . . after nearly 900 miles, Ramona called ahead that she needed help getting her tire changed. By this time it was about 4 p. m. and we still had about 20 miles to go . . . again, not normally a big deal except . . . in an uncanny way, it started raining almost immediately after we got on our bikes!
Gradually, over an hour’s time, the rain became more persistent and forceful until we were involved in biking in torrential downpour! There was no shelter we could spot as we became more and more drenched . . . even our leather shoes became absolutely soaked! A car stopped and asked if we were locals and when we answered “no”, she advised that we could find shelter a bit down the road at the post office. Comforting to see a friendly face offer help the best she could! We took her advice and while stopping at the post office, called Carol who in her usual gracious way, was only too glad to pick us up after having unloaded the car.
With hot showers and dry clothes nobody was interested in going out again for dinner, so we made sandwiches with the last of the muffaletta spread from New Orleans and turned on the TV. Programming was preempted with weather reports…thunder and lightening, flash floods, flooded roadways and tornado warnings in our county until 2 a.m. Grateful to be safe, sound, warm and dry for the night, we hoped there were no funnel clouds in our future.