22 July 2010 - 9:16Crazy Day
I guess I’ll go in order.
Wednesday was a semi pre-planned hookie day for me and my partner in crime E-Dog. We were going to head up to the Kingdom to go and scout out a course for some shenanigans that Mandy and I have been brainstorming. It was a beautiful morning, nice and cool, with low humidity.
In an effort to make the trip in one less car, I met E-Dog in Morrisville, where I hopped into his truck with what I thought was all of my stuff. Upon arrival, I realized a couple of things. One, I had not eaten enough breakfast, and two, my helmet was still in my car. After a quick trip into East Burke Sports, I came out with a rental helmet ($5) and 3 Clif bars (also $5).
E-Dog lulling me into a false sense of security on the first climb.
The goal was to scope out a route that was going to be about 25-30 miles long. We were a couple of miles shy of our goal, but I think our pace was pretty good. The weather forecast was for severe thunderstorms in the afternoon, so we chose not to dilly dally once we were done. We grabbed lunch and hit the road for home.
On the way back south and west, it was apparent that the incoming rain was not messing around. It was heavy at times between Burke and Morrisville, but when I got to my car, it was even more apparent that something big was about to go down.
I loaded up my car in a big hurry, dodging huge raindrops, and set off to go pick up the boy from summer camp in Stowe. The sky was already dark, and it seemed almost impossible, but it was getting darker. By the time I reached town limits the rain had let up, but I could no longer see the mountains. I could see some of the most intense lightning strikes that were merely 100s of feet from the road. I would have stopped to take some pictures, but the camera was in my trunk with all my smelly bike clothes.
I saw a big cloud that looked like a funnel, only it wasn’t swirling, but the clouds above and behind it sure were. Then the sky turned green. I have no idea why it does this, but you hear about it in the midwest where tornadic storms are more frequent. Then the rain came.
I was on Mayo Farm Rd when I had to stop because I couldn’t see the road anymore. It was almost like I was floating on water it was raining so hard. It was the wind that was the most alarming. The car was being pulled and shaken in all directions, the fact that I had a big sail attached to the top of my roof rack probably didn’t help. I saw something big and dark haul ass right in front of the car, likely a frightened moose or a big deer. It was huge, and it was raining so hard that I couldn’t really see what it was but it was moving. It was likely scared out of it’s mind, and was trying to run from the branches and leaves that were flying across the road. I’m glad it had the presence of mind to avoid my car.
I had the rear windows open a crack to try and get some air movement in the car, but my windshield fogged up anyway, and now it was raining in the car. And once it turned to hail, marble sized ice chunks were bouncing off the car, and the ones that got in ricocheted off the seats, roof and my head. After about a minute it was all over, it eventually let up and rained too hard for my wipers to do anything useful for another few minutes, then relaxed to the point where I could see the road again with my wipers on light speed.
There were big branches down on the road in front of me, but I was able to eventually get to where I needed to be. Others weren’t as lucky. Route 100 was closed north of Stowe because of some large trees blocking the road. It was the most intense storm I think I have experienced.