Baby, It’s Cold Outside

8/1/17. Gee, has it been cold down here! The pipes froze on both Friday and Saturday nights as temperatures went down to -6°C. Chris’s house was not built with these sort of temperatures in mind – he had to cover the air conditioning unit with a plastic bin liner to stop the wind whistling through it into his bedroom!

You may have realised that we extended our stay with him to a third night because of the weather. Although Friday’s rain gave way to a beautifully sunny Saturday, temperatures were no higher at about 2 or 3° and there was still a biting north wind.

The sun was still shining on Sunday and, with the promise of warmer temperatures as the wind moved round to the east, or even south east, we decided it was time to wave goodbye to Chris and Heather although we did wait until after 10 o’clock before leaving to let things heat up a bit. We did wrap warmly, grateful that we had brought winter clothing – 5 layers on the top, leggings, 2 pairs of socks, beanie hats, full fingered gloves, etc!

In the sun it felt really quite pleasant as we cycled westwards but whenever we stopped we noticed a chill in the wind which wasn’t apparent when it was pushing us along. It was a beautiful ride through the marshy countryside with loads of birdlife although we were a little surprised at how big the town of Pecan Island was. Chris had told us that most of the houses were rented out on short term lets to hunters (one we passed had a dozen ducks hanging outside). In reality there probably weren’t that many but they were well spaced along both sides of the only road so it seemed to us to take some time to get through the town.

As a result of the tailwind we made good time and we saw little traffic which was mainly pickup trucks driven by men in camouflage jackets and caps, although there was the occasional large lorry carrying big pieces of equipment for the oil industry. Stopping for lunch, Stephen knelt down on the ground and immediately jumped up as his lower leg was covered in small burrs with very sharp spikes. It took the best part of 10 minutes to remove them all from his leggings as they were tenacious little blighters.

By mid afternoon we had reached the turning to the only campsite between Chris’s house and the town of Cameron. Even though it would mean a day of nearly 100 km, with a late start of course, we decided to press on all the way to Cameron as it was an informal site on the beach with little in the way of facilities and a couple of miles off route.

The sun was getting low in the sky when we arrived in Cameron. Christine had read that there was an RV park that took tents but we couldn’t see it as we rode through town. Turning back we stopped at the only store to ask and were told that it was 3 miles down a side road. It was nearly dark and the temperature had started dropping again, although not as low as the previous two nights. The forecast said it was going to be +3° – chilly but just about tolerable if we got in the tent early.

There was a hotel in town which sounded awful according to the reviews on Google but it had a sign indicating that RVs could use a large open area next to it. We asked about camping and the man indicated that it would be ok.

Stephen quickly erected the tent although he did kneel on another 2 of the nasty burrs in the process. However, when Christine went inside her hand was pricked through the groundsheet by another of the damn things. Fearing that our air mattresses would not survive if they happened to be in the wrong place we decided that we had to risk the hotel.

Thankfully it is not as terrible as the Google reviews suggested and much warmer than the tent would have been, although it is very expensive for what it was (Christine managed to negotiate the price down to $89). We took the view that this was cheaper than having to replace 2 air mattresses at £120 each (they are worth every penny – comfortable, warm, easy to inflate and light to carry).

Christine was pretty tired by the end and fell asleep straight after dinner – thankfully before the argument in the next room started up. Stephen has been quite entertained by proceedings while writing this post but is now hoping that it dies down quickly to allow him to get to sleep!

Categorised as USA

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