Day 9… After being stuck under a tree for an hour and a half, I took refuge at a Hospice…

5 08 2011

Make yourself a cup of tea and sit down, this a long story and before I tell you how I ended up wrapped in a blanket with a fresh pair of socks at a Hospice I want to start at the very beginning. First back to last night where after finishing my last post, “Bill” who ran the Lakeshore Marina, let the four of us out on a boat for a few hours. He wasn’t coming with and happy to power the thing he gave me a quick 101 and we set off, engine to the max which was about 15mph 😛 Have to say it was amazing, steering a Harpoon boat through the rivers of a National Park. The scenery was unbelievable and I was completely envious how people here lived. Anyway, after pulling a few “donuts” and trying a handbrake turn (didn’t work) set anchor for a swim. The water is so clean you can swim to your hearts content and even though it was the evening, the water was warm and did many dramatic jumps of the boat before setting back. With the sun setting, what my eyes were looking as was incredible, I can’t tell you how amazing it is to power a boat through such beautiful waters to head back for a BBQ. What an amazing evening, and it’s that night where the story begins…

You see in the early hours I was awaken by a thunderstorm (Yes, America has bigger and better thunderstorms too) and went out for two reasons. One was to obviously have a look at the lightning, the other was to rescue my clothes I ironically left out to dry. Upset they were now down 10ft below the balcony I waited until morning to get them and went back to sleep. Skip a few hours, and I’m awake again! Obviously to start a days cycling. The morning was cool and over-shadowed and so perfect for riding. Honestly the morning was awesome, we were right in the middle of nowhere except for a couple of Rednecks and some pretty big bugs (again bigger). Making great progress as we were averaging as much as 17.7mph, but that was to change as midday approached the Sun brought out its shiny ass (I burnt my legs this time, and I was doing so well on them!) and made things difficult, but we were coping. But then BAM! 3:30pm ish and the Sun disappeared and the thunder came to town, literally. We desperately took shelter under some tress (I know great idea ;)) and waited for it to pass. The storm was right on top of us and lasted for about 15-20 minutes. We came from our hideout looking like we took a shortcut through a car wash and carried on peddling hoping to make it to Oxford, Mississippi. As we cycled on we started to realise the devastation the storm had just caused. Traffic lights had been struck, trees were down and a buildings roof had been blown away. (Earlier we actually went through Smithville, a town that got hit by a tornado back in April and was still in ruins, incredible damage). Anyway, we carried on (where I managed to get another 2 punctures, go me! :() until we hit storm two. This is the one that got us. Again we took shelter from the elements under some trees and called in the support car, the problem we had was, they couldn’t find us and rivers were starting to form around us. Drenched through and freezing cold the trees were not protecting us much and as we waited in vain for a rescue that wasn’t to come we had to make a decision. It was getting dark, so either stay put and get trapped or get on the bikes and head back to the nearest town, so we did the latter. Cycling a few miles I saw a building with lights on and turned in, knocking on the door to plea for shelter and to use a phone…as we realised we were at a Hospice. Not to worry though, the staff there were incredible and after noticing me as a shivering wreck, offered us some towels and blankets and got us some clean clothes. So after being stuck for an hour and a half under a tree freezing, here I was sat down watching TV with clean socks, wrapped in a blanket eating ravioli and donuts 🙂  “Jane” a volunteer there and all of the staff at the Sanctuary Hospice couldn’t have been anymore helpful, as they dried us, fed us and even called Arturs and Becki to direct them to where we were, I was so happy. So very happy to be there 🙂 So that’s how I ended up spending my evening at a Hospice…another chapter in the story of Cycling Across America 😉

Even though all ended well, we really did get ourselves into trouble, so please make what we are putting ourselves through worthwhile and please donate a few pennies to CoffeeKids.org 🙂 Surely we earned just a couple at least 😉 Remember to follow us at cycleAMERICA2011.com and facebook.com/cycleamerica2011

As we left the Sanctuary Hospice, Jane gave us each a cross that said “Hope”. I think sometimes, when your back is against the ropes, it’s that little bit of “Hope” that we live on…

Be safe y’all…

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2 responses

5 08 2011
Amanda

Dayle..gripping story. Told Maya she HAS to read this one. OMG what a day u had!!! Fantastic story tho

5 08 2011
David

A lovely report – adversity is inspiring your writing. It sounds hard – an earlier start each day may help to avoid the heat and storms. Keep pedalling – you will have quite a tale to tell at the end. Say hello to Rebecca – I hope she is getting some good footage.

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