My legs were feeling the strain of the added hills from my run the day before. I was not entirely certain that hopping on my bicycle was a great plan. I figured that it was using my muscles in a different way than running, so I should be fine. This was not my first rodeo, and it always seems as though my biggest challenge is to achieve the proper balance of work, play, and rest. Our route, a 31 mile road loop that crosses the Columbia River twice and the Okanogan River once, is a road that we have cycled many times. There is comfort in knowing a route. I know that I can stand up and attack a specific hill because it is of short duration, or I know that I need to gear up and spin easily to the top of a longer hill. I can play with my gearing and challenge myself to outperform my previous rides. In spite of feeling slightly fatigued when I began this ride, I felt incredibly strong for the duration. In fact, after returning home, I discovered that I had shattered my previous best time on this route. Apart from not fitting well into cute little jeans, there are some really great athletic advantages to being the proud owner of an awesome set of “thunder thighs”.
Temperatures here in town were again pushing 100 degrees. Work and chores put to rest, this afternoon, we headed up to Omak Lake (a seven mile long alkaline lake in the nearby hills). As we were approaching our destination, my cell phone went off chirping wildly with a severe weather alert. Lightning. I hate lightning more than anything. It absolutely terrifies me to be out in an electrical storm. The warning indicated heavy cloud to ground lightning and stated that if you can hear the thunder, then you can be struck by lightning. Really? Gulp. The warning indicated that the storm was located about 30 miles north of us and traveling east as opposed to south, so we decided to give it a go and paddle across the lake for a refreshing swim. I emphatically declared, that at the first hint of thunder, we needed to get back in the kayak and head for shore and the car. Well, the best laid plans…. We heard a thunder clap in the distance. It seemed so far away. I took a dip in the lake, and was on my beach towel, enjoying the cooling sensation of the gentle breeze evaporating the water from my skin. It happened so fast. The sky darkened as the clouds overtook the sun, and the gentle breeze became gale force winds. Wanna see how fast you can actually move? Just try packing up a kayak while being fearful for your life. (Okay, well, maybe I am being a tad overly dramatic) Suffice it to say that we were moving pretty darn quick in our efforts to outrun the rapidly approaching storm. It didn’t take much time on the water for the rolling waves to become quite serious in size. The direction of the wind was not necessarily complementing our efforts to get back to our vehicle. Waves were breaking over the side of the kayak and water was spilling into the cockpit at an alarming rate. While thrashing ourselves in the waves was definitely exciting, we finally opted to “surf” in with the direction of the wind and cut back towards the vehicle after we had positioned ourselves a bit closer to dry land. Once we came within a few feet of the beach, our dog leapt mightily from our waterlogged vessel. He may never kayak with us again.
Sitting down to a nice supper with my Grandmother, I was lamenting my need for a rest day. My totally insane partner in crime declared, “I thought this was a rest day”.