The fog rolled in and out all morning. One minute the sun would be shining and it would be short-sleeve weather. The next minute, the fog would roll in, obscuring the sun and dropping the temperature about 15°. In and out, in and out all morning and early afternoon.
I had decided to take a bike ride after cleaning the cabins (only 4 needed cleaning). But, given the fog, I decided to ride up the Gunflint and over the ridge. That way I would be away from the fog and bad visibility. I hadn't ridden up the Trail yet this year; it's about a 1000 feet climb in around 2 miles. Quite the climb, with one section being especially steep.
After getting over the ridge, I usually ride along Devil Track Lake; it's a long lake with a north shore and south shore option. I chose the north shore, giving me a 25 mile ride. The weather was lovely, but with a bank of clouds to the west. I figured I would easily be home before any storm might hit. Wrong! about 10 miles into the ride, it started to sprinkle. That's fairly common around here, though, so I just kept going. After all, I only had another 3 miles to the half-way point. At the half-way point I would turn around and ride away from the rain. Not a problem, I do it all the time.
It started raining a bit harder just before the half-way point, but I still figured I could outrun it on the way home. Wrong again! It started raining harder and the wind picked up. I put on my windbreaker that is only water resistant, not waterproof. Inside of 2 miles, I was drenched. I picked up the pace a bit, hoping to outrun it.
It appeared to be working; the rain was subsiding. But then, it started hailing. That's right, the rain subsided—by turning into hail! Not tiny hail, either. Marble-sized hail. And it was getting harder.
Let me assure you that marble-sized hail hurts when it hits unprotected flesh. And it hurts even worse when you are going 30 MPH. In my attempt to outrun the storm, I was cranking as hard and as fast as I could. I don't normally go much over 20 MPH, but I was moving at around 28-30 MPH and it was taking all I had.
I finally outran the storm just before I got to the top of the ridge. It was all downhill from there. But it was heading back to the west again—right into the storm!
So, here I am, drenched, exhausted, and I'm going 35 MPH downhill directly into the rain and wind. At least it wasn't hailing anymore!
I got home just before the worst of the storm hit. But I felt great! Crazy, isn't it?!