We seem to be stuck in the middle of another very severe weather system. Staying dry or getting very wet is decided with the flip of a coin; we just don’t know which way mother nature is going to go anymore. Setting off this morning was again very hot and humid. The sky was beset with menacing thunderclouds that at any moment could turn a dry road into a flooded fast flowing river in seconds. Fortunately for us, the 62-mile ride into Iron River, Michigan remained, for the most part, dry. Only a few light sprinkles of refreshing rain moistened us just enough to keep our bodies cool…very nice!
Most of today’s ride was along a deserted road through the Northern Highland State Forest. Travelling East through the dense wood kept us sheltered from the very strong winds coming out from the South. It also kept us guessing about what could be hiding in the dark cover of trees. We are in Bear country after all! ...Then, just when we thought it was safe to go back into the woods for a comfort break, a solitary figure strolled powerfully across the road less than 100 meters ahead of us. “BEAR!” shouted Kat, “Holy Shit”, replied Anthony as he upped his pace with a burst of speed that would have put Mark Cavendish to shame, trying to catch the 400lbs-killing machine before it disappeared back under the cover of trees. Fortunately, as Anthony closed in on the target, whilst simultaneously trying to pry the camera out of his handle bar bag, Mr Black Bear casually took two strides off the road and into the wood, and was gone. Kat caught up and could hear a melancholy Anthony mutter, “How do they do that?” “Never mind, at least you still have your arms and legs attached to your body”, Kat said in sarcastic retort.
Like we said, the road was deserted, which meant we had to cycle for over 50 miles before having a rest stop. So when we did eventually find a place to stop, pee, eat and drink, we decided to go the whole hog and order big style. A griddled chicken sandwich & chips with 2 pints of beer for Ant and a Ham ‘n’ Cheese melt on Rye & chips with 2 pints of shandy for Kat, all inhaled in 5 minutes flat. With a very nice but undigested lump of too many chips in our bellies, we covered the last 11 miles at a slow and cautious pace. And as luck would have it, we arrived at our hotel with 33 minutes to spare before the mother of all storms hit the region. Straight up guys, this dangerous storm entertained us with massive lightning bolts lasting 2 seconds, which on occasion would wipe out all electrical equipment in a 1-mile radius. And the rain was straight out of a disaster movie, flooding the car park at the front of the hotel in less than 10 seconds. Not forgetting the thunder ...very loud and scary. We didn’t have dinner tonight, as we’re still stuffed from too many chips…and it’s too scary to go outside.
We may not have internet access tomorrow …so no need to worry, unless Anthony decides to chase Bears whilst wearing a metal spike on the top of his helmet in the middle of a thunderstorm.