The tempest



A crossing during the snowstorm.

Entry #10   •   19th of November, 2014 Entry translated by  Pierre-Luc Roussel.
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Translation requiered.Shitty weather was to hit in PM on the road between Ann Arbor and Jackson. It was a fairly short distance, but I left a bit late as I was recommended a deli in town, and went. It was so delicious, that looking back the bad conditions I had to endure was entirely worth it.

On the road, i realized that i might be in trouble when i wanted a drink of water and found my bottle frozen solid. Snow then started and it got worse and worst. Is wasn't so slippery but visibility was really bad, slowing me down. Night caught up on me, so then seeing ahead got even harder and the cold bit deeper. At a certain point, my navigation tools went out. My speedometer died first (later i realized it didn't die, but that the liquid crystal screen didn't work in freezing conditions). Then i noticed my GPS didn't work. It was supposed to work down to -20C, but the batteries, that i had checked in the morning to be 50% full, turned out to be 50% empty and had died out along with my optimism for the day's ride. My spare batteries were of course far at the bottom of one of my bags (i now place them in a more strategic spot). My laptop had frozen (the way computers usually do, but probably due to the temperature), so the (i thought) saved google maps were not accessible either. Rebooting my laptop worked, but the maps were unsaved and no internet means no google. So it was just me and my good old watch : i tried to calculate how far i'd come since my last position check, remembering the time and having kept track of my speed until the death of my meter. I actually did get it right and turned on the right lane, found a heat filled restaurant where I warmed up. I picked a meal pretty much at random : Hunter Fries. Its Poutine ! ... in a local kind of way.

I got to my host Scott's house and took a warm shower and ate again, adding to the hunter fries. Yes, miles and miles in a snow storm will make you hungry. I met his charming family as I ate. Problem : the storm was only getting worse and the worst was to hit the next day. Today's sorrow was only a prelude to tomorrow's havoc. I supposed to ride to Kalamazoo, but it now was obviously impossible. Scott was of precious help : he really worked hard to find a solution! He found out there was a train leaving Battle Creek for Chicago, that accepted bikes. Chicago being on the other side of the lake, its safe from the storm. I was in Jackson, and even though Battle Creek was closer than Kalamazoo i would never have gotten there to catch the train. Scott gave me a ride there. Thanks again Scott!