The Day of Murphy's Law

Laquita tells it better than I do so in her words...

We’ve been out of communications again for the past 5 days. I now have the immense task of making sense of all the events that have occurred since we last were in contact with anyone. To quote myself “with every upside there is a downside”…..the last 3 days we have been solely uphill. To say we’ve been going through extreme’s in no way does it justice. The road and all its perils almost, I’ll reiterate - “almost” - did us in. 

3 days ago, in sweltering heat of 115 degrees, calamity struck in gale force, literally. Our morning ride was abruptly interrupted by 2 flat tires on Briana’s bike. Everyone’s patience was a little thin but we completed the roadside repair and continued on. The bus had gone on ahead along with Jordan. Aaron, Briana and I were riding together. The rain clouds out here are in abundance - in every direction you can see a downpour happening. To our left I was watching a ominous looking cloud formation continuing to gain in size and darkening in color, with the occasional lightening bolt strike. We suddenly began to feel warm air turn to cool and back again - shifting all the while in every direction. Coming from the Midwest, I am familiar with thunderstorm patterns and tornados. Winds began to pick up to dangerous levels and we realized we needed to take cover - there was no way we could outrun the approaching storm on our bikes. 

Cattle are free range out here so there are cattle guards every few miles on the highway. Fortunately, we came across one just in time to take refuge. The 3 of us tucked down in the bar ditch alongside the guard, tornado tails forming and dancing over our heads, realizing we could take a direct hit. The next 45 minutes were spent in calm, knowing there was nothing we could do besides profess our love and gratitude for each other. My son and I have had many soulful, penetrating eye to eye connections over the past 9 years and this one proved possibly the most profound. We simply held on to one another - until the storm passed, leaving us physically unscathed but emotionally a little shaken.

We got back on our bikes, caught up to the bus and rested our minds until we thought the storms were well on there way to other areas. I told Aaron and Jordan to go ahead, I would catch them. This is not what I customarily do, I usually stay right with them - but my instinct wanted to follow the bus for a minute this time. The bus went ahead of me just a little ways and stopped - a gale force had hit the side of the bus with such power it completely uplifted the awning out of the brackets. Arielle was on the side of the road holding onto the awning strap with all her might. I jumped off my bike, the winds battering us at I know 60 to 80 miles per hour. I quickly grabbed bungee cords and went to the top of the bus to attempt to anchor it down, in effort of saving it. All the while, my heart is in my throat with the thought of Aaron and Jordan being on the road with the newly formed storm coming out of nowhere. As well as I bungeed the awning, it was still no match for the wicked winds, set on wreaking havoc. I ditched the idea of trying to save the awning because saving the guys was obviously priority. We drove ahead maybe a few hundred yards when the 20 foot awning holder went over the top of the bus and was dragging on road - could have taken out an oncoming car. We could not go any further. Arielle and I went again on the top of the bus - looking at each other in desperation - not knowing how to handle this over our head situation - the winds continuing to pound - the 20 x 30 foot vinyl awning at this point flapping with abandon, the brackets bending and twisting, threatening to completely thrash the sides of the bus - suddenly adrenaline rushed through me and brought forth a guttural, primal, gorilla chest pounding, howl which placed Arielle into hysterical laughter. This shifted our seemingly inadequate mind frames into a “lets tear this @#$% apart and git-r-done”!! And we man-handled the situation. Right at that time a Native American Indian family drove up and the man yelled up if he could be of any help. I told him my son and a friend were up ahead and could he possibly go to them. Feeling a little less frantic, we successfully dismantled the entire awning frame, leaving it as carnage on the side of the road. 

The Indian family returned to us assuring me of Aaron and Jordan’s safety. They were up ahead at a road side rest area, unharmed. When we reached them, we all simply stared at each other for awhile, words eluding us…..we have consistently ridden these summiting roads now for 7-8 hours a day, humbly, respectfully, but in no way afraid or backing down to their power. We are as the side of the bus states: The Rise Above Tour.