didn't look good. I watched the storm tracking rather quickly across the plains trying to approximate it's direction. It was moving East fairly quickly, but I wasn't sure how far off it was or if it was moving North or South. Once we saw the storm, Bernie and Shawn dropped back and stopped to put on rain gear. Not having any to don, I sped forward hoping to get to the edge of the system where it would be easier to predict. Approaching the storm I realized just how fast it was moving, and looking at my GPS I saw my chance. The road bent left and if I gunned it maybe I could just sneak by in front before the worst of it hit. Ducking down behind the windshield I twisted the throttle and sped off, passing a truck and a few more cars.
It worked - I had been able to get ahead of one system but was now greeted with another one right in my path. I was able to slow up for a bit and let this one pass in front of me, rolling into Rawlins - high and dry - wondering how Bernie and Shawn had fared.
We caught up a few minutes later, got gas and jumped on I-80 West for a 25 mile stint. The weather had all but disappeared turning into a beautiful blue sky day. The wind had died a bit and the heat was a nice change from the cooler humid breeze earlier. Looking ahead though, I knew we were in for some trouble and hoped we'd be heading South long before the next storm came rolling in.
No such luck. Off the highway heading South I knew we'd be riding right into it.
We pushed on, approaching the edge of the system cautiously and then stopping abruptly as I saw a good number of bright streaks hitting the ground over a distant hill - thunder but a few seconds behind. Shawn and Bernie caught up and we quickly discussed our options.
This one was coming right for us, lightning and all. Two choices - try to beat it, or get soaked waiting in the ditch for the lightning to pass by. We were soaked either way I figured, so I sped off into the downpour.
I hid behind the windscreen and shot up to 90, not wanting to go any faster on the damp road. I approached the storm and it felt like riding into a wall of water, immediately visibility went to nil and I backed off the throttle but not daring to take my eyes off the road and look at the speedo. As the water flooded the road I became cognizant of the solid strip of hard rubber on the rear tire and made a point of carefully adjusting the throttle. The storm ended as abruptly as it began, and I saw Shawn and Bernie not far behind me.
We stopped for a minute, commenting on how much rain had fallen so quickly.
Blue sky ahead, I hoped with any luck this was the last rain we'd see for the day.
The cruise into Colorful Colorado was relaxing now and I became excited seeing the Rockies off in the distance.
We pulled into Steamboat Springs, picked up some provisions for the night and headed up the long dirt road to Strawberry Hot Springs.
We made camp on a great site by the river, changed, and headed up to the hot springs to relax. The place was pretty busy, and once dark settled in the real party started.