Hartland to Fredericton, August 23
The radar said it would be over by morning. I heard the rain begin on tent around 2 a.m. and by 6 it stopped. I zipped open the tent to find the humidity hung thick, dripping off the maple. We staged in the laundry room yet again.
Thankfully Irena had noticed a shortcut through the cornfields, allowing us to skip a long descent on the golf course driveway.
We headed to Woodstock for breakfast at Timmy’s 20 km away. I thought I might begin to miss those retired men always sitting wondering about us and sometimes striking up a conversation. Today it was a woman her 70s with a bright yellow shirt who approached us, to tell us she still rides all the time and was proud of us. This season she told us she had ridden 80 miles one day and 45 the next. We were inspired.
I checked the radar again and we looked to be in the clear. We wanted to make up time and distance from our missed destination from yesterday, so we opted to ride the highway. Route finding has been tiresome, so at least we knew the highway was predictable. What we hadn’t planned was how hilly, and how far services/exits would be. Hills were long climbs in granny gear not unlike BC mountains, yet with none of the spectacular views. Skies were darkening, winds lifted, and I seemed to smell what was coming. I tucked my towel, now dry, in my bags just in time. Rain fell in thawps on my helmet, my handle bar bag. Then it simply dumped. milikan style crowns of huge rain drops on the highway danced on center stage in front of me. Ribbons of water in wakes from my fenders. Speckled glasses and the shear volume of it made it hard to see. In minutes I was drenched. Puddles in my shoes. There was no where to hide.
Somehow it was laughable; I simply smiled. In fact it reminded me of home, commuting in a sudden storm, more common now than Seattle’s historic drizzle, thanks to global weirding.
It lasted only a half hour. My grandma used to quote Mark Twain “You don’t like the weather, wait a minute”. Everything is temporary, ephemeral. When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know.
I left a sitzmark on the pavement in front of the gas station, that ironically was closed for gas, but open for the convienece store.
And then the sun, and the decision to get off the highway at kings landing and ride the 102, and a chat about cyclists akin to biologist (lumpers and splitters) made us both happier.
But what really made me happy on this long day was seeing Amy pull up beside me, window down and waving. For the second time in as many years this adventurous, spontaneous, full- hearted Maineiac has driven across borders to reconnect, offer hugs and baked goods, and the sweet joys of an easy and treasured friendship. Thank you Amylyn.
She had arranged an air bnb for all three of us and we biked to it along a great trail in this capital city.
One great friend