Thursday, June 25, 2009

When it Rains it Pours

That saying is a good metaphor for life as well as literally. Afternoon storms are part of summer in Colorado, thunder, lighting and heavy rain quickly blowing through then replaced with sun and rainbows. It's not even monsoon season yet but every day we're getting our storms. And even though the weather report calls for isolated storms they always seem to find their way to me and my bike. Inevitably I find cover below a fir tree that provides shelter from most of the rain, I put all my extra layers on and cover that with my Gore-tex jacket, if I have my knee pads with me those go on too and provide excellent warmth and insulation. The rain can come down hard and the temperture drops suddenly, it can be very warm and then get very cold quick. The bike is stashed somewhere away from me just in case one of the bolts of lighting decides to seek out some aluminum. If I'm with another person we sit or crouch at least 6 feet away from each other, less chance of a multiple hit that way. Lighting scares me, especially when you can see it hitting all around you, it's a force that has incrible power and energy and I'm nothing more than a target, nature is not selective or values one life form over another. But it doesn't stop me from going, I know I can seek shelter until it passes and that I'm pretty safe, I have a healthy respect for it and truthfully I love being outside in the natural world and witnessing the different aspects of her nature, I feel truly alive. It reminds me that I can endure, I can sit and wait for things to pass, that I'm strong enough and solid enough to see things through. That even when it pours and looks bleak and I'm shouting at the sky to "Stop Already!" that I'll see the sun again soon enough and the rainbows that follow. The sky, the trees, the mountains all look so incredibly beautiful after a storm has moved through, the sun turning all things golden and clear. The saying, "Into each life a little rain must fall" is true, a little rain isn't going to stop me, it may wear on my spirit at times, piss me off, make me tired, cold and frustrated but that will pass too and I'll be smiling again soon enough. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger..hah, so many good sayings in this world. Come prepared, enjoy your own company or that of those you hang out with and I'll see you out there rain or shine!


Anonymous said...

Hi Carey - We're leaving on Tuesday, and I have great respect for the thunder showers that you speak of. We've been caught out in Brian Head in a couple of amazing thunder and lightning storms. The kind that are totally exhilarating, chilling to the bone, and never to be forgotten. I think my hands were tingling.
That being said, we are sunny Californians (been caught out royally) What extra gear should we carry for our epic CO rides? Thanks for all of your tips!

Carey said...

Keep an eye on the weather, as a rule of thumb in Colorado the day starts out very nice, sunny and clear but by afternoon, 2PM on, the clouds begin to build and you're chance of an afternoon storm/shower are at it's greatest, though they don't last too long. So with that said, I'd bring a rain jacket, gore-tex if you have one and extra layers, a long sleeve shirt should work well or arm warmers if that's the way you work it. (: Sometimes if the weather look particulary glum I bring an extra pair of socks and gloves but that's only if the day starts off rainy and cool, you probably won't have this happen to you. I use a Dakine Nomad hydration pack so I have plenty of room to carry extra gear and 100oz of water, very important! I even have a small space blanket in there for an emergency. But if you have a good rain jacket, even one of those plastic ones is better than not and an extra layer to keep your core warm you should be just fine. Start Monarch Crest early though so you're below tree line by afternoon.
Have a great time, a great show and keep me posted and if you need to reach me send me an email, and I'll give you my number.