Ozark’s to York PA 2016 Day 8

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ June 3, 2016/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, New Orleans to Ozarks to York 2016, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Nashville, TN (Was to be Sikeston, MO)

Time: 0745

Weather Conditions: Clear and 68

Daily High Temperature: 89

Destination: Hagerstown, Maryland (was to be York, PA)

Arrival Time: 2055

Daily Miles Logged: 649

State Visited: Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland

A day of firsts:

  1. First time riding in the pouring rain with no rain gear. (I have ridden in a brief shower or drizzle, but never a deluge like today.)
  2. First time going through a drive-thru on my bike.
  3. 17,000 miles on my RT (I have ridden close to 60,000 miles on my various bikes…)

It just so happened to work out that I flipped the odometer when we pulled in for gas after the deluge.

Our plan to leave at 0730 was slightly delayed, but we didn’t have to stop for fuel before hitting the road, so the 15 minute delay was not really problematic. Traffic was heavy as we anticipated going through Nashville’s morning commute and Knoxville at lunch time.  We also encountered a delay on i80 due to a car that was on fire and blocking the right lane south of Richmond, VA and we saw an overturned log truck.  All fun and exciting!

This is not the entire route as my phone goofed up during the rain and stopped tracking the rest of the route. But this is the general idea.

We plowed through the miles today with the singular vision of getting past the weather system that has plagued the area that we have been in for the past week. Our weather today was beautiful, until around 5pm when we were coming through I80 north of Richmond and a torrential downpour took us all by surprise.  There was neither time or place to pull of and put our rain gear on, so we did the only thing we could do which was to try to get through it to the other side.

Luke’s Cafe in Abingdon, VA… Not a bad little joint for lunch!

I recall taking the turn and seeing the dark sky that just previously had been hidden by the mountains and noticing a group of other bikers rapidly exiting I80 as we waved good bye to them. I can only imagine what was going through their minds as they saw us riding into that mess.  A few droplets turned into a steady rain that turned into a rain storm the likes of which planet earth has not seen since Noah.  I quickly felt my mesh gear becoming damp to wet to drenched.  I distinctly recall the moment when what I can only imagine was every drop of water that had accumulated in the pores of my jacket in concert proceeded to fill up my pants and seat.  With this rivers current’s ultimate destination being my boots, I began to recall the scene in Forest Gump when Col. Dan is perched on the mast of the boat yelling “Is this all you got…”  I began to laugh hysterically thinking about the whole set of circumstances. As the temperature began to drop in the mid 60’s I cranked up my heated grips and seat to try to stave off the effects of my cold and wet fingers and gloves.  This only marginally helped.

We rode for about 20 minutes in that crap only to have the sky return to blue with a few clouds. The real benefit to the mesh gear is that it began to dry over the course of the next hour or so until the point where the only thing that was left wet was my feet inside my leather boots.  We stopped to regroup and to consider our final destination for the evening… York was simply to ambitious of a destination with the challenges we faced today. We set our sights on Hagerstown, Maryland, still another 129 miles away at we were losing daylight. Jon and Randall decided to exit a bit before the hotel to grab some dinner while Matt and I attempted to beat the rain to the hotel… which we did!

The next few days are liquid as we regroup and refocus for the coming days, but one thing is certain, adventure lies ahead…

-Steve

 

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