The signs were all there.
It started with my college friends and I going to bed way too late. Then, something made two of them keep waking up all night and not sleeping well. Eventually, they gave in and woke up the two of us who actually slept to join them in their misery. By 5:30 am, we were all awake and debating on whether to stick with our plan of biking down the mountain at 7:00 am. We were motivated the night before, but since the sun refused to come up that morning, we were wondering if the weather would permit us our plans.
Apparently the local channels in Whitetop, VA refuse to show any weather reports on Sundays. We looked outside and figured since there was a slight chance of the sun eventually coming up and the rain seemed to be ceasing, it would be okay to grab our bikes and go for it.
In hindsight, it is amazing that four Christian women could so blindly miss the signs from the God they seek.
The trip started off well. The rumors were true-the 17 mile trail actually went downhill the entire way. We had the pleasure of feeling like athletes without the actual work. Eventually, there was a little sprinkle coming down, but it actually felt nice and refreshing.
Then it began. A few miles in, the downpour started. And it kept on coming. In my 31 years of life, I do not believe I have ever seen so much rain in so quickly a time.
There was no where to go. One would think the trees would shelter us, but the rain just kept pushing them out of the way. We blindly steered our bikes through the muddy rocks, yelling out warnings to each other such as, "Watch out for that rock!" and "Huge puddle there!" and "I think I lost a boob going over that bump!"
Every time I thought it would let up, it seemed to get worse. At one point, while wiping the rain from my eyes with one muddy hand while the other hand held a death grip on the bike, I prayed, "Lord, please make it stop!"
I have to point out that there were two perspectives from our group. Brandie and I were actually laughing through most of the trip (until the mud that flew in our mouths turned gritty on our teeth) and did not mind the adventure. We peddled quickly and chuckled at the two slow pokes behind us. Rebekah and Christi, however, had differing opinions. Part of me is glad to have the rain drown out some of the words that might have come from their mouths.
By the last couple of miles, barely holding on because of the shivering cold rain covering our bodies, the only things crossing our minds was a combination of "Brandie's Pepperoni Puffs" and "Hot Tub."
We finally made it to the beloved (heated) shuttle that would drive us back up the mountain (which was a bit late picking us up because they never dreamed anyone would actually be on the trail in such weather-at least we gave the locals a good laugh that morning.) Christi's lips gradually turned back from blue to their normal color and Rebekah eventually stopped crying. By the time we made it back to the cabin, there was actually some laughter coming from all four of us.
Okay, so maybe biking in the mountains in the rain was not the smartest thing we have ever done. But, like I told a bitter Rebekah, we have an experience to look back on and laugh about.
And we have proved (Brandie, this is for you) that we are True Women.