The misty supernasty

"Not gonna need sunscreen", I thought as I opened the door from my motel room this morning to see an overcast, grim and wintry day outside. A few hours before I had been awakened to the pelting noise of hail and I was thankful that it had not happened on a night I was camping. I'm guessing that being bombarded with hail, if big enough, could be disastrous to an unsuspecting tent dweller. That's okay, I don't plan on doing much more camping anyway - more on this in a bit.

It looked like a wonderful day to stay inside snuggled in bed reading a book or watching tv. No such option for me though as I really need to get closer to my destination. Working up the courage I set out into this 43 degree morning hoping to make it to Oberlin 66 miles due west. The winds had picked up to 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts and there was a tornado watch for southwestern Nebraska... exactly where I'm headed. But I biked anyway. It was difficult because I was really cold and the air turned from moist to misty to drizzly eventually soaking me and I started to shiver. I made it to Norton and saw a gaggle of low end motels just the kind I like but as much as it was tempting I had only clocked 32 miles for the day. I had lunch instead at a McDonald's and hoped to warm up inside but the heat wasn't on. By the time I left I was shivering uncontrollably. I pedaled like a madman to get my internal furnace to put out a little fire which it did, somewhat, but the drizzle was turning to rain. With the cold wind though it was too much to bear. I pulled over into a culvert and decided to wait it out. If the day perked up I was willing to go the distance to Oberlin but if not I can camp right on the side of the road.

Predictably, the weather only kept getting worse. On setting up my tent the broken pole I got from my last night out tore a huge gash into the pole sleeve. With some duct tape it took me a good 15 minutes to get it so-so but I think it's time to admit the poor thing has given up the ghost.

Day 42