5.21.2009,12:38 PM
Texas Forts: Chadbourne
Rain. Again.

I woke up while the sun was trying to poke its head above the horizon, surrounded by fog. Warm, damp, sticky fog and mist. I crawled back into my sleeping bag and shut my eyes.

Voices from the restrooms across the park road woke me. Crawling out of my sleeping bad, the barometer that is now a part of my right lower leg ached. My ankle didn't want to bend much. Oh well. I'll feed it coffee and see if it wakes up, like the rest of me.

I boiled water for a packet and half of oatmeal, sprinkled the bowl with dried cranberries and waited impatiently for the ground coffee beans to release their elixir in the coffee press cup. With a quarter cup of dried milk powder in another cup, I added cold water and stirred it into a white semi-liquid for the oatmeal and coffee. I ate unenthusiastically and slowly while staring at the fog outside.

Oh well..... I muttered again. I felt like a cross between Eeyore and Winnie the Pooh; excited about going to Fort Chadbourne and unexcited about riding in the falling wet sky. It was getting colder as I waited. Oh well; let's do it.

Getting to the fort was easy: turn left out of the park on Hwy 89, turn another left, south on Hwy 277 for about 40 miles or so. I can handle that. And I did, wiping mist from my fogged face shield and the mirrors. The top of my right hand was getting wet and cold; I need to adjust that hand gaurd. The water is blowing right off it and onto my hand, rather than over like the left. Oh well......

I spotted two cars turning left (today was 'Left Day') up ahead. Good thing they had their lights on and I could trail the red rear dots. I stopped at two tall figures in yellow slickers and cowboy hats, shoved a tenner donation in the cowboy boot in their hand, and wondered how I was going to park like the cars on the side.

"Don't bother parking here. Go up ahead and find a place closer. You can fit that 'cickle' in there somewhere."

I smiled, nodded a thanks and drove on. Everyone did a double take; a motorcycle in the rain? On a dirt road? I didn't pay no mind and kept going.

Then stopped in amidst a chaos of parked trucks, cars, trailers, vans,...... Where the......? I found a spot in front of a structure half constructed and wedged myself in there. I got several poorly hidden smirks as they watched me try to back up the bike with tippy toes on wet slippery mud. ThankyouverymuchIcandoitmyself. Thinking all the time 'Don't slip. Don't slip. Don't....'

Finally parked, -mostly, at least out of the way- and off, I peeled off a wet jacket, gloves and dug out my rain suit. Donned the rain jacket, which offered warmth right away, but kept riding pants and boots on. Then dug out the camera in the hip pack and monopod.

"Look at you! You're in a snow suit."

Thankyouverymuch. Offering weak smile, "I'm warm and dry and that's all the matters."

I started to make the rounds wondering what everyone else was doing in this cold mist. I soon found out.

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posted by Macrobe
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