I don't know what made me say it. It just came out of my mouth. “This is my happy hat.” But it's true. The little black skull cap is the difference between being cold and miserable and feeling comfortable and warm. It's as good as an extra layer of clothes.
It's October, so it's no surprise that the weather has suddenly turned colder. But except for a few chilly days in the UP, we have had extraordinarily warm weather. As we left Egg Harbor it was in the mid 60s, one of our warmest mornings yet. We optimistically set out in light gear.
But it all nosedived from there. Not only did the temperature drop, but strong winds blew out of the west. We were battered by crosswinds or headwinds throughout the day. Although we had only 33 miles to get to Sturgeon Bay, it felt like twice that.
Despite the weather we still had a scenic ride. The highpoint for me was visiting Cave Point County Park. There the waves crashed against the shore sending impressive sprays up against the rocks. The lake's action had carved caves and canyons in the rock, and we could see water pouring out of them as each wave receded. The entire shoreline had evolved into uniquely shaped rock formations.
Rich's favorite was this “purple cow” dinosaur sighting. He quickly made friends with the natives and called for a photo shoot.
As the day wore on, we added layers of clothing and battled on against the wind. We counted down the miles. And cheered when we reached the motel.
Morning brought even colder temperatures. It was 43 degrees when we headed out to a coffee shop. And that interminable wind was still blowing. Sipping hot drinks and hoping it would warm up a bit seemed preferable to an early start. We probably gained a degree or two at most, but still benefitted from the caffeine perk. In the end, we dug deep into our panniers and brought out our full armaments. Tights, wool socks, thermal tops and full gloves. Ready to do battle.
And yes, my happy hat. Because when I'm warm, I'm happy. And so is everyone else in the group.