Johnny Cash does a pretty good job up there (see video), but I have my own story to tell
We biked about 4000mi, longest day was 118mi (at 18 mi/hr avg speed) for the 3 amigos:me, Mollitor and Nate. we climbed to 12,100ft in Rocky Mtn National park, crossed the plains and the desert, and had a grand ol’ time doing it. Although I’m back in NY (i.e. the real world), it was a great experience, most importantly in terms of changing my worldview. On the trip i was more laid back, and I plan to keep that going forward–getting sprinklered wasn’t fun at the time, but it makes for a good story.
so to tell that story:
We were camped out in the city park in Battle Mountain, NV (home to the world’s fastest man challenge course … the record stands at 81.00 mi/hr in a full bubble-bike). And it wasn’t too bad by city park standards- crummy bathroom, but a nice lush lawn to sleep on, especially considering this is the desert. Unfortunately, the train tracks were right on the edge of the park, and [dingdingingding HONK HONK chugchugchug HONK HONK] freight trains came by every hour, all day and all night.
About 4am, I heard the signature pop-hiss of pop-up sprinklers, but quickly determined that they were watering the far end of the park, and went back to sleep. About 20 minutes later there was a louder pop-hiss and then … water pouring through the open top of the tent!! (Mollitor didn’t put on the rain fly… why should he, this is the desert!)
Me: where’s the rain fly?
Mollitor: in the bag!
me: where’s the bag?
I struggled mightily with the rain fly, trying to turn the sprinkler head away from the tent when it threatened to soak it more, but that was a losing battle on both fronts. At least I evacuated my bag from the tent before that got wet. After about 10 minutes of getting soaked and struggling with the rain fly, I gave up on that plan and shouted to Mollitor: we’re moving the tent to the parking lot! and we picked up the tent, soggy sleeping bags and all and hauled it to the parking lot, which is for obvious reasons not covered by the sprinkler system.
Climbing back into my sleeping bag, i found that fiber-fill isn’t very warm when wet. And my fleece jacket cum pillow was soaked through and useless as insulation as well.
Fortunately for me, I packed heavy and brought some other cold weather gear: on goes the thick shirt, gore-tex jacket, beanie hat, cycling cap, tights, jeans, double-layer socks, and magic comfortemp gloves. At this point the desert sun was beginning to rise, and I fired up the camp stove for some much needed hot cocoa and oatmeal, which was much appreciated.
Fortunately for most people, we evacuated most of the gear so it stayed dry… unfortunately for mollitor, his stuff was outside and we missed it in the dark, and his bag was about as full of water as a non dry-bag can get 😦 but in the desert things dry quickly and it wasn’t so bad after stretching everything out in the sun at the end of the day.
There are of course other good stories to tell, and 1000 pictures to upload, stay tuned!