Friday, 29 January 2010

A River Runs Through It

As predicted in yesterday’s blog, there was an almighty thunderstorm last night. Luckily, we were safely ensconced in our extremely comfortable cabin at Marilyn and Bernard’s Tillworth Retreat. That didn’t stop us waking up, however, every time there was a crack of thunder and wind howling so loudly that we were convinced the roof was going to blow off … though we did take some comfort from the fact that the building had clearly been there for a very long time, and weathered many a storm before this.

It was still raining when we woke up this morning, and ate a huge, healthy and very tasty breakfast … but no tornado warnings. Every bone in our bodies wanted to be able to crawl back into the cosy bed and go back to sleep. Unfortunately, we felt that we had cycled in much worse conditions earlier in the trip and survived, and therefore reluctantly set off into the cold.

The first few miles didn’t seem too bad, as they took us South West, and the wind was very definitely blowing from the North. Sadly, you guessed it, the rest of the trip involved us going in a North Westerly direction. And what a wind it was. Cycling into it made us feel at times like we were in a spinning class and were failing to move forward at all. The combination of wind, bad road surface and hills took our speed right down to new lows. So, we breathed a sigh of relief when we took ourselves off the wide-open main drag and into the relative shelter of the Buescher State Park.

The park was beautiful (see photos), and the road meandered gently through the trees. However, our joy was short-lived as we encountered some of the steepest climbs and descents so far in the whole trip. Getting a little blasé about some of the descents and trying to make the most of them to get some momentum to get up the hills, we started to hurtle down them at full speed until … Eek Squeak … Anthony found himself screeching to a halt in what can only be described as a landslide…with a fast-flowing river running through it! Faced with the alternative of retracing our (painful) steps, we somehow found a route through the water with which Trusty and Steed could cope and without us getting swept away. A bit of true adventure cycling…

Tomorrow, we have a short, but cold, hop into Austin.

Us x

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