Sunday, September 25, 2005

Erie Pennsylvania to Montpelier Ohio

There is a law of motorcycle travel. It says your chance of encountering rain is inversely proportional to the amount of rain gear you are actually wearing. More on this later.

All the hurricane coverage on CNN and The Weather Channel means that you can’t get any weather conditions reported for anywhere else in the country. The normally comprehensive and useful information was totally missing so we were pretty much in the dark about what was going to happen in the area we would be traveling today.

There were forecasts of rain predicted for Erie, Cleveland and Columbus so we started west on I-90 under overcast skies wearing full rain suits. At Mentor, Ohio, I got a report on the Weather Band radio on the bike that it was raining in Indianapolis. In an attempt to stay north of this, we continued west on the Ohio Turnpike through Toledo instead of cutting southwest at Cleveland to Columbus.

It looked good for a while, but about fifty miles from the Indiana line we stopped for fuel. Since the sky hadn’t changed and the temperature was pushing 80, we took off our jacket rain liners and stowed them. Sure enough, fifteen miles later we ran into a wall of water. Four miles after this we pulled into another service center and went in for lunch while high winds and driving rain scoured the parking lot.

An hour later, the wind had died down and the rain was reduced to a drizzle so we suited up, rain liners and all, and headed out. This proved to be my second mistake as, within ten miles, the heavy rain had returned with even greater ferocity, reducing visibility to NIL. We bailed at the first exit showing lodging. Luckily, the toll booths have roofs over them. Unable to see, I pulled into the first motel, an Econolodge, and found we were in Montpelier Ohio. They tell me there is actually a town around here somewhere.

That was about 2:00. We spread things out to dry and, after a while, went over to the adjacent Country Fare restaurant for the meat loaf special. The rain has been a steady drizzle all afternoon and is forecast to continue tomorrow morning, but what do they know anyway.

We’re about 750 miles from Eureka Springs and we have two days to get there. It looks like we will get in the familiar groove tomorrow (Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Springfield) and try to ride out of it. A good day tomorrow and we can coast in on Tuesday.

Another law of motorcycling is that you have to endure the bad days so you can appreciate the good ones.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Following your travels with some interest. It was only a last minute call that I DIDN'T go to ES. Hope you guys have a easier time of it for the balance of your trip.

Ride safe

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
2004 Nomad "full dress"