it’s emotional

Euphoria – it’s one of those days…

I was a miserable git this morning, wasn’t I?

Five hours later, and the world looks very different. I’m making the best average speed of the trip down Highway 54, with (whisper it) a bit of a tailwind. The sun is out, it’s not too hot, and all’s well in the world.

My clothes were dry by eleven. Then more rain swept in. I went and lay in the tent, coming reluctantly to accept that I’d have to stay another day at the campsite. I got out of the tent to pay, and a sliver of sunlight broke through the clouds. There were no more black clouds heading in. I packed up my kit and legged it.

As soon as I hit the 54, I felt the wind at my back. My legs were pumping around, easily turning the big gears on the flat, and climbing a couple of gears higher than usual. The bags were helping, acting as sails and pushing me up the road, rather than backwards, for a change. The best half-day of riding of the trip so far.

If Kansas is like this all the way through, I’ll be emotionally, as well as physically, drained by the time I get to Colorado…

I can understand why travel and journeys are so often used (and abused) as a metaphor for life. Today has shifted from frustration to elation in a matter of hours. The highs and lows come quicker on the road, and you can’t really appreciate the one without the other. Which I suppose means that I should be grateful for the frustration. I’m not.

Roll on tomorrow…

Frustration

Well, I’m in Kansas. Just about.

I was held up by a big belt of electrical storms at the edge of Missouri. There was another big one here in the early hours of the morning, and now I have a dilemma. The weather services say the system has gone through and is gradually heading east. My eyes say different. But it’s hard to know whether I’m just looking at hideously dark clouds, or a day of rain-soaked misery. Do I stay or do I go?

Tricky, tricky. Kansas seems a tad unpredictable. I arrived yesterday morning to a very British light drizzle:

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And by mid-afternoon, it was more like this:

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It’s immensely frustrating. Having a rest day for every riding day won’t get me across the country quick enough. But getting hit by baseball-sized hail (which they had here a few days ago) won’t get me across the country at all. I’ve already waited until ten o’clock, so I won’t leave until at least eleven by the time my stuff’s dry. So I can’t get a full day’s riding in anyway. But I need to feel I’m making some sort of progress – sitting around for days just doesn’t do that.

I probably need to find some positives here. Well… Another lovely family at my last camp in Missouri. A couple of free beers last night. Oh, and I’m part way through the trip of a lifetime. Really mustn’t forget that…

Time to stop moaning and get on with it, I think.