Today I woke up a little early and that clearly was part of the plan. When I looked at the morning weather radar, I was 30 minutes from a big thunder and lightning storm rolling over top of me. So I got up packed up quickly to hunker down in a bathroom shelter for 45 minutes while the rain storm passed. Just as I finished packing the rain drops began to fall.

As the day began I needed to be cautious of all the early morning commuters and now the wet roads.  I was confronted with several early morning climbs of 7 % 10%. I’m not a fan of that so early in the ride. I was clearly not warmed up yet and they were a struggle. I found a groove and traveled along country roads with very little traffic. The rolling hills and farmhouses again proved spectacular.

I’m met a great couple along the side of the road, Lon and Djuana (doo-WAH-nah) they parked along the road and Lon had his easel up and was just beginning to paint the historical barn on the other side. The couple travels around the country painting and doing quillwork and selling at various shows. (They were apart of a larger organization but I can’t remember the name) As we talked about my journey, they offered to host me for a hot meal and shower if I happened to come by there place in coming months. They provided there contact information and I moved on.  It was good to stop, rest, and talk with some nice people.

Most of the day was spent rolling through the hills and Amish countryside. But today, like yesterday, the heat was exceptionally high (97 degrees) for this time of year. I was not ready for back to back days of high 90’s. The rose up and was a constant 15+ directly into me or at times it became a stiff cross breeze which has made it quite challenging since my bags make me a big sail.  The constant battle with the heat and wind took its toll today.

So cautiously navigating the downhills and slogging up several more climbs of of 8, 9 ,and 10% grades was a challenge. Crazy but this is good preparation for the Rockies.

By 2:00 I’d stopped several times to eat, rest, charge my phone, and hydrate. At one point I stopped under a shade tree to put on sun protectors on my arms. That made a huge difference in my overall temperature. I should have put them on sooner. While I was putting them on, the homeowner came out and we talked for 25 minutes.  We talked about my journey and Kevin gave me some good information about some of the upcoming roads to be cautious — thank you Kevin.  A little bit farther up the road I stopped at a gazebo builder for again some much-needed water. I had already drake about 2 gallons of water/gatorade but I needed more. Marie from the front desk took care of me filling my bottles and giving me an ice cold water from their fridge. They were quite gracious and allowed me to walk through their showroom and enjoy the cool air inside. Pete their sales manager told me about his adventure supporting team Zoe in the race across America (RAAM) Amazing!

At one point today I had to stop and pull off to the shoulder to let the Amish horse & buggy pass by for his safety. Of course at that point there were several vehicle’s wanting to pass us both. As the gentleman went by on the buggy he noted:

Pretty tough headwind today.

From there it was a struggle to get to a hotel for the night. With Lisa’s discount it was only a few dollars more than the campground I was planning on staying at. That was an easy choice. I spent the evening planning the next few days, which looks like rain and cooler temps. Getting some much needed food and MORE hydration I settled in for the night. I will see how I feel tomorrow.