The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

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This shot doesn’t represent all of Kansas but in a way, it sort of does…

I’ve spent the day blasting across Missouri and Kansas on I-70 and I do mean blast. I left Tipton, Missouri a little late this morning. I forgot to set my alarm for what was of course Sunday morning and slept in a bit, though sleeping would be an exageration. The air con in the room was pretty loud and every time it fired up, it woke me up. So I wasn’t inclined to be that mobile this morning. Of course, the second I opened the door to start loading the bike, it became sweat city and I wasn’t even wearing any gear yet. The bike’s seat was covered in condensation. I toweled it dry and began to get the boxes and bags on her and twenty minutes later I was on the road and heading up Highway 5 which was pleasant and twisty with nice elevation changes through some very pretty farmland as I made my way up to I-70.

The first part of my morning ride along the interstate was really pleasant. The big rigs hadn’t come out to play yet and the subsequent air was what I like to call clean. As in the kind of air you get when it’s just you cutting through it and not the dirty wake turbulence you get off of almost every other thing on four wheels you’ve got to get past.

Of course it was in this, “Clean air,” I figured out that having my tall windscreen in a more upright position was creating a vacuum in my riding position that was lifting up the back of my jacket and more to the point was drawing air up into my helmet and drying out my eyes. On a hunch I dropped the screen down and everything settled. My helmet was in better air flow and the drying effect on my eyes stopped.  And just as I was settling in to this new clean flowing world of air, the big rigs started to show up and it all settled down into the usual game of fighting your way through the massive wake turbulence you get when you shove a big oblong along a road at a high rate of speed.

I had a lot of territory to cover today and there was going to be no mucking about. Set speeds went from 65mph to 75mph  which means of course I went a little bit faster. You know, to keep up with the rest of the traffic.

It was of course still stupid hot and humid today. I was worried about the angle on the sun on the back of my neck so I threw on the kerchief. Later in the day, I started to soak it in water and let the wind across my neck create evaporation to help cool me down. It worked well but I had to resoak it at every Rest Stop as it would dry out that quickly. I even resorted to soaking my T-Shirt at one point. It was dry within the hour. Like I said, stupid hot.

It was another 500+ mile day today but it didn’t really get interesting until the end and by interesting I mean scary. I’ve been in some weather here and there and some of it has certainly caught me out but nothing like today.

I’d been staring at a grey band of cloud on the horizon the entire time after getting off of I-70 and onto Highway 40.

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You can see the band of grey to the right of this shot. I should have been more concerned, not thinking about how nicely the light was falling.

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Of course i should have been paying attention to how it was moving across the whole horizon…

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It’s starting to look serious.

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Still sucked in by the beauty of it. Things are not sinking in…

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Uh oh.

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At this point the temperature dropped about thirty degrees.

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And then the wind came at me from the side at about sixty miles an hour. I was having a hard time staying on my side of the road. I had to drop down to 40mph.

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It’s becoming surreal and scary…

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Now I’m looking for some place to take shelter…

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A motel!

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With a Diner!

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Got out of it just in time. About ten minutes later it began to rain with purpose. The wind though was the really crazy part. I was having a hard time keeping on my side of the road. Still, I’ve got a good room with excellent Wifi (best I’ve had this trip) and nothing ended up going too pear shaped. It’s still blowing out there. It should let up by morning.

Here’s hoping.

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