I did take time to call and wish my wonderful wife a happy birthday. She had been very supportive of this ride, but I was really sad I couldn’t be with her to celebrate. Happy birthday Jessica, I love you!
Normally we cover a lot of miles in the morning, but that wasn’t happening today. However, we did keep steadily rolling. Took a few short breaks and buy mid day we saw positive signs of progress.
The rest of the afternoon was a slow trudge along. Heat spiked at 110F and the wind was hammering us. We finally struggled into St Francis, where we stopped for a long lunch break in the AC.
After lunch we struggled on through the heat and wind. We weren’t moving fast, but we kept going, taking frequent breaks in the shade. When we got to McDonald we found a nice little park/rest area. There was a water faucet with cold water. We couldn’t resist dousing ourselves several times while resting there. By time we moved on, we were feeling much better.
A few miles up the road we pulled over for a nature call. When we started riding again, I knew something was wrong. Just before stoppingit felt like trailer was getting heavier. Turns out it wasn’t, I merely had a flat tire. There was a thorn in it that I must have gotten in the park.
Jr hadn’t heard muy shout and had gone up the road a ways before he realized I wasnt with him. By the time he got back I was already working on the tire. He helped me and a few minutes later had tube patched, tire back on bike, tools put away and ready to roll.
Jr got on his bike, rolled 10 feet, stopped, looked at his front tire, then have me this look of “you’re not going to believe this”. I was immediately “No! Tell me you don’t have a flat too!”, but of course he told me that he did, and he too has a thorn.
I was already on my bike rolling forward so pulled over in front of him. I checked my tires. Front was good, but back had a thorn, and when I pulled it out, there was an immediate hiss of escaping air. We’d hit the trifecta! Flatted a front, a rear, and a trailer tire. All with thorns from the park we’d thought was so wonderful minutes before.
It didn’t take us long to get both bikes fixed up and get back on the road. We soon arrived in Atwood. Our first stop was at a beverage store to get some stuff for our camp site. Had a nice chat with the young lady, Laura, working there. We then went to gas station and grabbed some food and snacks.
We only rode a few more miles out of town before finding a place to camp for the night. Camp was quickly set up. We ate our food, had a few beers, and went to bed. It was so hot, and sky above us clear that we left train flys off for better ventilation.
I woke up middle of night and got it if my tent to answer nature. When I looked up I saw nothing but clouds and lightning flashing everywhere. I grabbed my rain fly to put on, woke Jr and told him tho did same. As we were finishing I felt first rain drops hit my back. We both dove back into our tents just as the skies opened up, and the down pour began.
The rain quickly cooled things off, and with its steady noise I quickly drifted off to sleep.
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