Despite our concerns about the weather, it was a beautiful morning for a long ride. Leaving so early meant cooler temperatures, and the many shady parts helped as well. We had our 50 miles ridden by 10:30. Some pictures from the trail...
Not everyone had such an altogether nice ride. Our friend Dave had an encounter with a branch, and the branch came out on top. It managed to miss his helmet and get under his glasses to scratch his eye. He finished out the ride, but ride staff ended up taking him to an urgent care facility for treatment (no scratched cornea--yea).
People who didn't get such an early start or move quickly enough had an early end to their day on the trail. The ride was called at 11:30 due to heat (heat index of 107), so riders still on the trail had to wait at their next SAG for a ride in to camp.
We camped on school grounds in Mokane. We were very spoiled, as we were allowed to hang out inside the air conditioned building. Common areas were soon filled with campers napping,
reading, chatting, or playing cards. It was a welcome relief from the oppressive heat outside.
We had a wonderful dinner. Rolls, salad, baked beans, cheesy potatoes, brisket, lemon chicken, and dessert. Afterwards, we had our rider meeting, where we had a moment of silence for a cycling advocate who was killed this week in a car accident while cycling. Then, we got the news that, due to flooding on the Missouri River, we were going to have to be bused around the stretch of trail that was underwater.Rider meeting
The evening ended with entertainment by a string band--good stuff.
A welcome development was that we were allowed to sleep inside the bottom floor of the school if we wanted. We wanted. One, in hopes that the air conditioning would allow a full night's sleep; and two, because if we slept inside, we could pack our tents that night and have little to do to pack up in the morning. It looked a little like a refugee camp, but once the lights were out, I had the best sleep of the week so far.
You know, it's crazy hot, my butt is really sore, and we're getting up ridiculously early in the mornings. This morning, as I was rolling up my sleeping bag in the dark at 4:15 a.m., I thought to myself, "THIS is my VACATION???" And yet, as I rode this morning, I was having such a good time. Great people, wonderful trail, beautiful mornings, and I'm doing better riding than I expected. Yep...THIS is my vacation...and I love it!! :)