TAT Day 8

Posted: July 13, 2010 in TAT

We got a late start today so that we could do some laundry, lube the chains and clean the air filters. It was very hot today. At one point Mike checked the thermometer and it read 107! This area recently had an unusual amount of rain recently (one local said something like 5 1/2 inches in the space of a couple of hours), and that led to a series of difficulties today. Very early in the day we followed a road on the trail that ended in what looked like a lake. We couldn’t even see where the road emerged from the water Mike wanted to ride through it, so he sent Ryan out to walk it. When it got about chest deep we decided to reroute. Once we got back on the trail we back tracked a bit to see where the other end of the flooded road was, and discovered that the road was flooded in multiple spots. We got back on the trail and a few miles later hit a shorter flooded section that turned out to be about neck deep on Mike. I think he still wanted to try it, but we weren’t sure where the little one lane bridge was exactly and the parts we did find were pretty slimy. So we did another reroute on some slab for a few miles to get around the flooding. We made good time after that, on long straight gravel roads. We had almost made it to the motel when things took a bad turn. When these dirt roads had been wet, some big vehicles had made some long deep ruts in sections. A few of these swallowed me and I had a hard time making it through. There were also some random spots of deep sand that were really tough. I had dropped back a bit from Mike and Ryan to stay out of their dust. I came over a rise and saw them both on the ground. Mike was behind his bike and Ryan was off to the side in the grass. I slammed on my brakes but still hit the deep ruts which had caused their wreck. Apparently Mike had just made it through the deep ruts and had stopped and turned to warn Ryan, but Ryan was already in the ruts. He made it through, but rear ended Mike. Ryan was holding his arm and in a lot of pain and we were pretty confident that it was broken, so Mike called 911 and I rode to the highway to flag down the ambulance. His X-rays at the hospital confirmed the broken arm so Mike and Ryan are done for now. They should be on their way back to Illinois right now. So now our group of six is down to three.

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