Friday, June 18, 2010
let it rain
When I left Hill City at about 7:00am it was cool and cloudy but comfortable. The forecast was for a 20% chance of rain and highs nearing 100 degrees. So, I decided I didn't need to take a jacket. Big mistake. It started to rain about 7 miles out of town. Then came the thunder and lightning. It was scary to be out in that, but once you are, your options are limited. You can turn back, ride forward, or get to the lowest spot around. In this case that would be a ditch that's filling with water. I was getting wetter and colder by the minute. After about 5 miles of riding the storm out I saw a sign for a rest area in 1 mile. When I arrived, there were several bikers huddled under small shelters to get out of the rain. Then a park ranger came to our rescue.
Nicodemus is a National Historic Site under the auspices of the National Park Service. It was created as an all black community to give freed slaves an opportunity to buy cheap land and make their way on the prairies of Kansas. The museum opens at 9:00am, but when the rangers saw us gathering, and suffering they opened a little early. They also called in some help and tried to make us comfortable by handing out paper towels, and blankets to those really suffering. They started coffee and water for tea or cocoa. They also handed out trash bags to use as rain gear for those of us who trusted the forecast. And they allowed the SAG volunteers to set up inside providing snacks. A soggy group got to spend some time learning about a place we might have breezed through if the weather had been better.