Friday, May 20, 2016

28: The miracle of the tandem rack

We knew it had to happen someday.  After riding for four weeks with relatively no impact from weather, it was finally our turn to ride in the rain.

Our Warm Showers hosts, Lorena and Dick, were kind enough to offer us additional shelter if we wanted to stay in Klamath Falls a little longer, but the weather report pretty much promised nasty weather for most of the next week so we didn't see how we could avoid getting into it at some point anyway.
I hear the layered look is in.

We have warm gear, and we figured on hitting Chemult, where there were several small motels.  Dick and Lorena gave us additional plastic bags to line the packs.  We bundled up in everything we had to wear, and headed out. Roger's computer read 34.6 degrees.  Oh boy.

This is what you do to keep your feet warm. Didn't work.

We didn't make it half a mile before I decided I needed to have my jacket hood over my head, and not rolled into my collar.  Roger also pulled his up.  Before too long, I had to pull the skull cap from the pack and add it to the ear covers, visor and hood.

Captain Fantastic
With the rain lowering visibility, I thought it prudent to pull out the reflective vest, also.  (And, I was gratified to have a reason to wear it, lest I conclude that I was carrying it in vain!)  So I was wearing:  wool base layer, jersey, puff vest, shell, outer waterproof jacket, and vest.  Plus shorts, arm warmers, knee warmers, wool socks, plastic bags, visor, headband and skull cap.  And wool gloves over my padded ones.  Roger was similarly kitted out.

We actually made pretty good time for much of the ride.  We had a tailwind for a good portion, and the rain would come and go.  It was a great joy when we'd realize "the pavement is dry!" in between the squalls.

Klamath Lake did not look so blue today!
A very special treat from the big trucks passing by was the cloud of spray off the road that enveloped us as they sped along. Most gave us a wide berth, but a few held their line and basically gave us a shower as they flew by.  Whoopeeee!

We had a break for lunch at the Kla Mo Ya Casino.  It was nice to sit out of the rain for a while, and sort of warm up and dry out.  My feet were drenched.  Too bad about those back fenders, Kathy!  Roger's feet were staying much drier - but then, he still has his fenders.
I was a bit surprised by the name of this casino.  When we visited Lava Beds National Monument, we learned that the Modoc people, the Native Americans whose ancestral lands were there and around Tule Lake, were sent to the Klamath Reservation in Oregon when white settlers began to arrive in the area.  The administrators did not recognize or respect the differences in the culture, traditions and governing practices of the different nations, and there were problems among the peoples there.  Eventually, one Modoc leader took some of his people back to their homeland, where they were hunted and eventually captured and exiled.  It was yet another chapter in the terrible story of our nation's treatment of our Native peoples. But now, 140 years later, it appears that the Klamath, Modoc and probably Yakima nations have developed a casino together - which was full of white folks feeding the slot machines.  I guess that is justice of a sort.
A bit of hail added to the fun

Continuing on our way, we had a short hail storm, and then more rain, then a dry spell, and then - the winds turned around. Drat and double-drat!

We'd been tracking our progress, and at 50 miles I felt pretty confident that we'd be done in another two hours.  We were making good enough time, in fact, that I was entertaining thoughts that perhaps - if we could keep our pace at 16 to 18 miles an hour - we could be done in an hour and a half.  And then the wind shifted, and we slowed to 8 to 10 miles an hour, and I thought, "oh, no!  This could go on for two to three hours!"  And I really did not think I would be able to do it for three more hours.

And then, like angels from heaven, Lois and Dave in the Subaru with the Sidewinder tandem rack on top drove by slowly, lowered their window, and said, "would you like a ride?"

I was afraid that Roger would say "no - we got this," - but to my everlasting surprise and glee he said "YES!"  And so we stopped, and unloaded the tandem, and got it on the car, and they drove us to our motel.  Really, what were the odds?  A car with a tandem rack on it, out in the middle of nowhere?  Hallelujah!

And so we sit now in the warmth and comfort of our motel room, ready for bed, and wondering if it will be snowing tomorrow!

The day's report:  Klamath Falls to Chemult, 53 miles/1320 to date


  1. Wow! What a day! You will always "remember that time when...." So what will you do about the forecast? Doesn't sound like you will be too eager to ride in the rain again!

    1. That's all we have done for a week. There's really no way to avoid it, unless we just hole up somewhere for a week. Dry weather and high temps forecast for next week.

  2. And hopefully there was only snow on the roadside this morning and not on the road!


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