Saturday, June 2, 2007

Escape from Tropical Storm Barry

After a day of driving in the pouring rain, Paul and I were anxious to see whether we would have to go through the same process again today. We checked with the weather channel that night and this morning, and looked like hurricane season was in full swing.

When we woke up this morning, our window at the Radisson looked like a video of Hurricane Katrina! The palm trees outside of our window were practically horizontal from the wind and the rain was coming down in buckets!
Not wanting to get trapped in Florida for a week, we decided to head North and see if we could get a hundred or two hundred miles. We didn't like the idea of riding in the rain, but the idea of getting stuck at the Radisson wasn't our idea of fun either.

We packed our things, showered up, then headed down to load up the bikes. Then much to our surprise, the rain stopped!
Paul turned to me and said, "Do you know what I'm thinking?"
"That we should ride before the rain starts again?" I replied.
"Yes, that's what I was thinking"
So we got onto the road as quickly as we could. The first hour looked scary, with dark clouds on the horizon and the occassional drizzle. But so far, so good. We finally stopped for breakfast.

By the time we finished, our fancy GPSes were crying about storm warnings in Palm Beach. We had gotten out before the storm returned, but it was heading our way in a big hurry.
We decided to make our way to Daytona Beach, and if we continued to luck out, push on to Jasonville. Once again, good fortune smiled upon us, and we only faced dark clouds and sprinkles. We had found the perfect little hole in the storm, and we were happy to follow it as far as it would take us.

When we arrived in Daytona, the storm abated and the blue sky finally showed its happy face.

We got some coffee and stopped at the Daytona Race Track for some pictures. Then we decided to do what all biker-geeks do. We went off to visit the local motorcycle shops! Hey, Daytona is the home of "Bike week", so what better place to see bike stuff?

First stop, BMW of Daytona Beach.

They had some interesting stuff, but no matter how cool BMW's are, Harley guys get the best tchotchkes. And not surprisingly, Daytona has the largest Harley dealer in the world.

Actually, that's not quite accurate. Daytona has a motorcycle mall. Not just the world's largest Harley dealer, but an entire mall with lots of motorcycle dealers, stores, souvenirs and theme restaurants.

It really is cool to go someplace with lots of cool bike stuff. Okay, it was way too Harley centric, but cool none the less. I was tempted to get Zach and Zoe some Harley schwag, but figured that Cherie would have my head if I encouraged them to like motorcycles. I guess they will have to do without the harley t-shirts and stuffed animals with harley logos.

We still had another ninty miles to Jacksonville, and the storm had finally caught up to us. It was time to hit the road and head North as quickly as we could.

Sure enough, the dark clouds rolled in. It did make for some dramatic views.

I kept expecting to see the hand of God come from behind the clouds.

(Queue the halleleuiah chorus...)

We almost made it.
The dark clouds begat darker clouds and fog. The fog became drizzle, then sprinkles, then rain, then a storm. We drove very slowly and carefully as we rode the last twenty miles into Jacksonville.So here we are at the end of another day. It looks like we may have made it out of Florida before they get inundated with the first week of Hurricane season. Hopefully Savannah will be much drier than the last couple of days.


Lhaffinatu said...

I hate riding in the rain, let alone a full blown tropical storm! Glad to hear you guys are alright and not totally stuck in that storm! How're the bikes holding up? How are your butts holding up? hahahah

Peter Kevin Reeves said...

The bikes are doing remarkably well, probably because they've been serviced twice so far!

Oddly enough, driving through weather keeps your mind off your butt. A few days ago I would arrive and say, "My butt hurts". Now I arrive and say, "I hope my stuff didn't get wet!" ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey you're in my old hood... jacksonville. :) If the weather lets you go check out The Landing. :)

crashfaster said...

yikes man. i hope this has been the worst of it.
of all the doo-dads, gadgets, clothes and exquipment you've brought, which of it would you have left behind, and which could you not live without?

Morgan said...

also: i must commend you. this blog has been a satisfying read throughout. i eagerly await further tales.

Tom said...

Chere commenting here: Thank you Peter. It would have been a shame to have you survive a Hurricane only to come home and indeed have me take your head (or other juicy body parts) off by bringing cycle paraphanelia to my kids!! ;-) I'm thoroughly enjoying the blog!! Keep it up and stay safe!

Tom said...

Tom here this time: Delighted you've skirted Tropical Storm Barry, Peter. There was some concern here about how you'd fare in that weather. See? Staying in Florida for any period is bad joojoo.

Soon, you'll be in the Carolinas where they really know how to serve up ribs... Hell, pork of all varieties!

Thrashes Rakes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thrashes Rakes said...

Nice work, enjoying the stories!

Edwin Hoogerbeets said...

This is Margaret. I am glad you are safe and your ass does not hurt too much. I am with Steve, though, a few blogs back where he was asking about the meal descriptions. Maybe Tim needs to get on his bike and travel with you so we can get all the food details.

Lhaffinatu said...

See? Now that I'm not there to provide color commentary on the food, people are missing it! heh I sure do wish I had the time and money to tag along with Peter and Paul. This trip sounds like it's a blast so far!