Today started out early. After a great breakfast we were on the road before 7:00 a.m. It is always good to an early start and for us that proved out. The day started out on a downhill and a gradual upslope to the first rest stop. After the first rest stop we had another downhill which turned into a long climb on a rough road. This climb was about 2,000 feet. The climb started when visually it looked like we were going downhill. It wasn’t until we stopped and looked back did we see we had actually been climbing for 4 or 5 miles. After the stop we really began to climb and climb. We knew once we reached the summit we would immediately go down and start the second climb of the day. It turned out the second climb was not as difficult as the first for us and it was downhill into Austin. We got into camp before the afternoon monsoon rains hit. Others were not as lucky.
Now begins the story of the two rides. On the final climb two of the trailing riders’ experienced thunder, lightning, rain and high winds. The wind almost blew the riders off the road. When one is out on the road in those conditions a person becomes very venerable. There isn’t any shelter. Communication is difficult if not impossible. You can get hyperthermia quickly. It was only with the quick thinking of one of the staff members that recognized a garbled call as a call for help that all turned out well. He got the van and immediately went to the mountain to find the two riders. He found them cold and tired and needing support. They were loaded into the van and taken to the camp site to recover.
Tomorrow is another day on the road and everyone will be ready for the challenge.