Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Posted by Donna on 8:15 AM with 1 comment

June 25, 2014

Mother Nature giveth, and then she unceremoniously rips things right out of your hands.

Tuesday was a gift. Despite prediction after prediction of a day fraught with thunderstorms, we had a beautiful, sunny day exploring Niagara Falls. I guess you can say we were lucky; other than the walking day in PEI, our days have been crisp, but rain-free.

And then there was Wednesday.

From the moment we left Niagara Falls, it was a race against the rain and we were losing. Badly. What started out as a mist shortly turned into a rain we couldn’t ignore, forcing us to find somewhere semi-dry and covered to climb into our rain gear. That’s never easy on a rural route and definitely one of the drawbacks to vacationing on a Harley. You’re vulnerable to the elements, often with no place to hide. Scenic Route 20, a terrific ride that traverses the farmlands of upstate New York, lost some of its luster as I watched the landscape roll past through a rainy haze and water-speckled glasses.

Shortly before noon there was a break in clouds, and while the sky was never actually blue, the rain did stop. With nearly 60 minutes of rain-free riding, and what looked like clearing on the horizon, we found ourselves lulled into a false sense of dryness. With my trusty Canon slung around my neck again, I happily snapped pictures of the vivid green scenery glistening with the remnants of earlier showers.

Our happiness was short-lived. In Morrisville, the skies above us exploded. I quickly shoved my camera inside my jacket, pushed my ungloved hands into my pockets and hunkered down behind Jason, as though that was going to do much of anything against a pounding, sideways downpour. A breech in the Velcro that secures my jacket sent a river of rain down my shirt, soaking me from neck to navel. It was a bit like the soaking we got on the Maid of the Mist, without the beauty of Horseshoe Falls.

We rode for more than 30 miles in this punishing rain until the skies cleared over Richfield Springs. It was the first dry stretch of road we'd seen all day - no rain and more surprising, no visible signs that it had been there.

We were rain free, if not necessarily dry until we reached the outskirts of Albany. The sinister-looking cloud that had been loitering off to the north for miles suddenly unleashed its fury over our heads giving Mother Nature one last hurrah – a final rinse and repeat cycle – just 10 miles shy of the hotel. When we finally arrived we looked more like victims of a shipwreck than cheerful vacationers traveling on a motorcycle.

A cup of coffee and a towel drying later, we peeled off the wet layers and regrouped, making the 3 minute walk (yes, in the rain) to the bar & grill across the street. The food was good, the drinks were better, but we soon learned it was karaoke night. While karaoke has its entertainment value, I’m still not sure what was more painful – the pounding rain or the pounding in my ears after a heartbreakingly awful rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run”.