The Squall

The squall in the ride

A squall is defined as; a sudden violent gust of wind or a localized storm, especially one bringing rain, snow, or sleet. Why do I quote this you might certainly ask; it’s because we encountered just that on one of Northern Utah’s summers last ride for this season.

The whole day long we travelled north along a trusty ole road. It’s called Route 191 and in places its called 6. Except for the occasional passing lane to be had it’s a dusty old two lane through Utah’s mid-section. Our bellies were full of watermelon from an autumns harvest fest but that is a tale for another day.

Autumn like skies above were covered with clouds and they were the dark ones with plenty of punch. Rain storms in front that had recently passed left evidence of wet roads and puddles any rider would notice. Close behind with a look in the mirrors showed dark clouds to cover ole route 191 in the same area where we had just come. Moisture was seen free falling beneath but we travelled in dryness for the whole of that day. Lady luck seemed to travel with the three bikes we rode and embolden we were at our good fortune had on this fine fall time day.

We arrived at the ending of Route 191 and soon we found ourselves on another well known. For Route 35 travels east to the west over Wolf Creek Pass and the Duchesne Divide. As our path took us more to the west on a collide path with any approaching storm. I looked to the west an oncoming storm we saw directly in front and bearing down it certainly was.

Our group leader was first to have his good fortune change when a bee glanced the windshield and traveled on passed finally landing on an exposed left arm. With its last valiant effort his arm it did sting and shake as he could the stinger just wouldn’t release. A quick stop resulted and the stinger removed and a few photos taken for memories sake. But another look to the west along our intended path showed our luck would not last. A very clear picture of dark clouds that had gathered and rain falling below directly onto Ole’ Route 35. These clouds were not behind or some distance away but headed straight toward us and gathering speed.

Rain gear deployed and fastened up tight. A confident feeling that the dryness beneath would certainly last. Back on the bikes and westward we rode. Light sprinkles began and a brief thought came to mind, “this isn’t so bad, no problem was seen”. No longer had the thought arrived in my mind when into the storm the trio did ride.

Double down Mother Nature intended, the storm front intensified and visible sheets of water I saw just before my glasses and face coverings began to rapidly fail. With-in a short minute rain water was pouring down the rain gear I had donned and I felt its chill soaking the denim pants and leather chaps that I wore. My gloves had soaked through and were dripping with water, cold to the touch, my hands numbing inside.

The very next thought that came to my mind was that of a squall and a drenching rain storm. It could pose quite a problem if it didn’t let up for to ride in a storm is trouble for asking. It was quickly upon us, no end to be seen and it seemed that miles remained before the next shelter town would come into view. Unable to see through the down flowing water and soaked to the bone we pulled to the road side to wait out the storm.

Not long after stopping a sight we did see. That was a flash flood cascading from cliffs to our right. The water fell in great gushing currents from a wash up above that hadn’t seen water in a very long time. We watched in amazement the red stained water fall and rush to the valley and farm fields below.

A look to the west and my soggy mood it did lighten, for I could see the other side of the storm, and the dark clouds were brighter. With a sense of relief I spoke out loud but mostly to self; “it’s going to blow over.” A few minutes more and the danger had pass as dark clouds continued on their easterly path.

Soon after its passing we were back on the bikes and traveling westward into the clouds clearing light. Over the pass of Wolf Creek we went and into the South Provo the trio did ride. Under sunshine and blue skies of home at last we arrived.

In the mirror of hind sight, is there a detail I’d change? Nothing comes immediately to mind, except maybe that drink, potty break or a treat stop in a small town where Routes 191 and 35 meet. Thirty minutes would have made all the difference with regard to the storm.

But then had that been the case the experience of the squall we would certainly had missed. No, I think I’d not change a thing. After all, it’s about the journey including the squall.

Life, you just gotta live it!!!

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