Sunday, September 18, 2016

Day 17--All Night Rain Means Mud Aplenty!

Yep, it rained most of the entire night. The tents were muddy, everything was wet--it was delightful! It's so hard to get packed up when everything is wet. Derik and I were just standing there thinking how to proceed. We discovered my 2 liter platypus clean bag has two holes in it. Fortunately, I have two 1 liter bags. At least, by the time we were taking down the tents, the rain had stopped. Still, I started out in my rain pants. I figured the road would be messy.

We rode the two miles back to the route. From there we started the long climb up Huckleberry Pass. Since it wasn't raining, I stopped and took my rain pants off. I just put them under the bungy on the back rack to have them handy if it started to rain. At one point in the climbing, I was able to look down where we had been yesterday.
See the tiny little building down there in the center of the photo? We rode by that yesterday. When I looked at it, Derik asked if we should camp there. 

The climb continued. With a couple miles or so to go, I looked up, and could see a road up high. I thought, surely we weren't going on that road. But, yes, yes we did. When I was pretty close to the summit, Derik came around the corner with no bags on his bike. He was beginning to worry that something had happened to me. No, I was just chugging along in super granny gear. 

It was very windy at the summit, so we didn't stay there for lunch. There wasn't a summit sign, of course, but there was this trail sign (holding up Connor's bike).
The ride down was good, but didn't last long enough. There was another little hump to climb, and I was back to riding by myself. Then the road dropped down some more, and basically turned into a mud pit. I was sliding all over the place! I managed to stay upright, but after one particular hairy sliding, I had to stop just to get my heart rate back down from being so scared! I tried to find more solid places to ride, but wasn't terribly successful.
Looks wasn't!

Finally, I stopped because even though it looked solid, I was still sliding around a lot. Then I looked at my wheels. Oh my God, there was so much mud that I couldn't even see the tread on the tires! It was mixed with long pine needles making for a very sticky mess. I found a stick and scraped as much off the tires as possible. When I got going again, and went downhill a little faster, mud was flinging all over. I had mud in my shoes, mud hitting me in the face, and getting all over everything. Then, when I came out to better gravel, the wind was really blowing. It was blowing me sideways at times. I tried to use the DaBrim to help me, but mostly I was just trying to not get blown over.

I finally made it out to the highway where the guys were waiting for me. Derik was lying in the ditch to stay out of the wind. From there we rode into Lincoln to the Scapegoat for lunch. Here's a photo of some of the mud.
This is after I scraped most of it off!

At lunch we discussed our plan. We were supposed to double up on the book's days today. That meant we had another long climb (Continental Divide crossing number 2), and about 26 more miles. We needed to get groceries too. It was 1:30. We decided we couldn't do another long climb in the wind. So, we are staying in Lincoln at Spring Creek RV Park. They have showers!!!

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be better. Hopefully no rain, and less wind. Sorry for not so many photos, but it was a tough day even though it was only about 25 miles.

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