Tuesday, August 16, 2011

devils and dust (thanks bruce)

We've been seeing dust devils over the last bunch of days. They're small cyclones of, well, what we thought was dust that swirl with the wind across fields and disperse without warning. Yesterday, we learned that they like the road too. We were stopped for a roadside break on our 70 mile trek between towns, in the middle of reslathering ourselves with sunscreen, when we saw the dust cloud coming over the hill toward us. we might have had ten seconds to prepare. "Grab your ... grab your," Aaron said.

I waited a moment. "Grab my what?!" i figured he was about to tell me about a specific part of my body to protect.

"Grab your bike!"

My bike might have lasted two seconds before it tumbled into the gravel, bags and all. To even have a chance of holding it up, I would have had to face the dust directly, not an option. The "dust" consisted of small rocks and as soon as it hit, the sting of the bits pelting us lasted for a good few seconds. Luckily, I kept my eyes and mouth shut. For the rest of the aftenoon, the tiny rocks encrusted my scalp.

Aaron let out a whoop after the dust passed. Our skin still stung. I fetched my bike from down the small embankment. We continued on, in the direction from which the dust came. You should assume at this point that we're always riding into the wind. It's impressive, eally. When the wind blows fom the south, like yesterday, we ride south. When it blows from the west, like today, we ride west. I guess the upside of this is we'll always see the dust coming.    

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