Perfect it’ll never be. It might get close, very close, and it has many times along this walk, but today was pretty far from perfect. There’s also a first time for everything, today I got caught in the first real rainstorm of the trip, and I got drenched.
Had I practiced what I preach and been a bit more patient, I would have stayed under the railroad bridge for a few more minutes, and this all could have been avoided. It was drizzling, and I figured a little light rain was manageable, so off I went. Within about a mile, it was pouring, too far to go back to the bridge and with absolutely no place to take cover.
So you walk on. Fortunately I had covered my backpack so all my stuff was dry, but that was about the the only thing that was. I wasn’t wearing waterproof pants, and my rain jacket did a fairly good job at keeping my core dry, but the rain, and road spray, was coming from all directions. My shoes were full of water, socks obviously drenched. And being all wet, I was also cold. It sucked, pardon my french.
All I needed to do was pay a little more attention to the weathermen, They were dead-on this morning, and I was all wet. Learned another lesson, just like ten weeks ago when I tried to walk 27 miles in 103 degree weather. It’s just not a good idea (right Pedro?)… neither was today.
About an hour later, I did find a gas station/store, and just stood outside until I had dripped off enough to go in. I still made a huge puddle next to the little table, Morgen and her co-workers were all very understanding, lent me a couple of towels so I could dry myself, and eventually, the table and floor below. After about an hour, rain again became drizzle, and off I went again, having done a stealth sock change, wet to dry, under the little table. Shoes were still wet, but it made a big difference.
Within an hour, the clouds moved on, sun came out and it was an absolutely beautiful afternoon. Things always look better after the rain, if you can get just through it.
I have no photos of the morning but just imagine gray and wet. Phone was in a ziplock bag, rain too heavy to take out as what felt like the friggin’ Shenandoah River running down my back and parts beyond… it was not comfortable.
As Virginia, my dear mama, always says, “all’s well that ends well”. Safe and sound once again here at the Ritz Carlton in Bedford, VA (no point in searching for it - it’s very exclusive, won’t show up on a map :-). Nice shower, and weird thinking that the exact same substance that made my morning borderline miserable, when heated a few degrees and accompanied by a bar of soap can actually be quote pleasant.
And my brother Robert used to say… “worse makes good look better”. I don’t know if he was the one to coin the phrase but it is all so true.
And what I say about perfection. It ain’t happenin’, it ain’t happenin’ today, ain’t happenin’ ever, but I’m really enjoying all those things that are almost perfect, and most of them are.