Woke up disoriented, as I'd expected I would. One dog was wedged in the foot-ward side of the sofa, the other sprawled on the floor beneath it. Both of them seem eager to be stepped on. During the night I'd woken up to storms, but now I couldn't tell if it was raining or not without getting off the sofa. Instead, I dozed off and woke a few more times.
When I did finally haul myself up, the sky was dry but threatening. Time to go. I negotiated my bike out of the shed and through the fence, stopped in to say thanks n' bye, and took off. The trailer felt notably heavier - I'll have to eat well for a few days and lighten it.
I made it down to the fairgrounds before it started sprinkling. A mile down the trail, I could hear thunder. Rain came down hard. A park with a small, table-sized shelter appeared, and I stayed there until the rain stopped. Three weeks of unreasonable heat, it turns out, does not cause one to appreciate being soaked and cold. Just recently I talked to a man, at a trail info stop, who may have considered touring but for the unpredictability of weather. He didn't ever want to be in a situation forcing him to ride day after day in the rain. How long would I last under those conditions? I have an easier time cooling off in the heat then warming up in the cold, and being wet is even worse. I wouldn't think that being caught in days of rain would be that likely, though - the clouds are moving, I'm moving. It would have to be one wide-spread system to prevent me from either letting it pass or adjusting my route to get away.
The day of riding continued this way. Rain coat off, rain coat on, stop to put on shoe-covers, rain coat off because suddenly it's hot, thunder in the distance, air damp and heavy. I never planned on going far, and the sticky trail surface grabbing at my wheels tired me out fast. A final bit of rain came down after I passed Green Ridge, then the sky cleared. I liked the look of Windsor - bigger than the smallest trail communities, but still a small town. It has a subway and a dollar store, but no sprawl of gas station, auto repair, fast food, ect. It has a laundromat and library, as well, which mark it as downright sophisticated.
I had enough time to dry some clothes before checking out the city park campground. I still hand-washed them, but the dryers are nice to use from time to time. Now my clothes smell less like the inside of a pannier and more like fabric softener. The park was nice, but the campground and a lonesome, desolate feel to it. It's odd to put my finger on, really. I'm happy dispersed camping in a state forest, sleeping in a city park, or stealth camping in a trail shelter, but I don't like empty campgrounds. I never ended up going back - while I was at the library, I met John, who along with his wife Debbie, does volunteer work for the Katy Trail. He invited me to their cabin, right on the trail!
So here I am now, with a cup of tea, curled up on another sofa. John and Debbie stopped in to make sure I'm all settled in, chatted for a while(Thus far it remains true that -everyone- knows someone in, or near Plymouth, MN.), then they went home and left me to the cabin. It's nice and clean and open, in here, and it smells like lumber. It was downright therapeutic, to be able to cook myself dinner, be it a simple dinner, in an actual kitchen. Tea that doesn't taste like smoke is super, too.