The flood of 2018…

Things have been a little frustrating around here for the last few weeks. We found out that Dwayne’s work schedule will be changing in a couple of weeks, and it is going to mean he will be working more days than me, which means a little less time that we can ride together, as well as more than twice as much fuel costs for us because we will no longer be able to drive to work together. Of course, this summer we can just ride the motorcycles to even that out, but Indiana winters and working 2nd/3rd shift don’t really allow for year-round bike commuting.

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about, so on to the fun stuff. The reason I mentioned all of that is to explain just how much of a relief today was. When we hopped on the Tigers and rolled out of the driveway today, I just felt all of that frustration melting away. I feel like I’d been a bit grumpy or at the very least sad the last few weeks knowing that things were going to be changing, and the lack of being able to ride was only making matters worse. We ran away to Savannah for a few days last week, and although that was wonderful and appreciated, nothing relieves stress like twisting the throttle does.

Before we left Dwayne took a minute to rinse off some of the caked on mud we’d left on the Tigers from our last adventure.

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We decided to ride over to Madison, Indiana to check out some of the Ohio River flooding. It rained every single day last week, and the river is the highest I ever remember seeing it. So many of the homes and businesses along the river have been affected as you can see in these pictures…

The treeline behind the bikes in the 2nd picture lines a sidewalk and a road that is usually well above the river.

After snapping some pictures, we decided to go looking for roads we haven’t been on before. I remembered seeing someone on a Facebook group talking about a gravel road just East of town off of Hwy 56 so we went in that direction to see if we could find it. We didn’t make it very far before we were stopped by road closure signs and a flooded roadway, so we turned around and headed back up to higher ground on some roads we are familiar with.

When we came to a T in the road where we usually turn left, we turned right instead. There were some nice homes down that road, but it turned out we hadn’t been able to see the “No Outlet” sign from the direction we had come, and the road ended up dead-ending in someone’s driveway. On the way back out we saw a really cool mid-40’s Chevy pickup parked under a lean-to that we hadn’t been able to see on the way in. I’m pretty sure I saw drool flying off Dwayne’s chin in front of me 😂

Once we got back to the T in the road we continued on straight until we got to a 4-way stop where we usually go straight, but this time we decided to turn right. After another T in the road, followed by a Y, we found ourselves on a narrow gravel road. Jackpot!

As we were cruising down the gravel road, we saw a tree with a coffee carafe mounted on it and a sign with little wooden “donuts” hanging from it that read, “Coffee + Donuts, Fresh and Delicious.” By the time we noticed it, we were going too fast to stop quickly, and the road was narrow so I didn’t want to turn around to go back for a picture, so we continued on.

As the road was winding down the hillside, we started to see flood waters in the fields, and we became concerned that we would have to turn around anyways, but we opted to continue on to be sure. We rounded a corner and saw water across the road ahead of us, but it turned out to just be a small creek crossing that surprisingly wasn’t flooded. Dwayne stopped and got a video of me crossing it and we continued on. Shortly after the creek crossing the road graded further down the hillside and at the bottom it disappeared into flood waters. We couldn’t tell where the road went, and we knew there was probably a drop-off somewhere on the left side, so we decided to turn around and not risk it.

Since we had to go back that way anyways, we stopped this time so I could get a picture of the “Coffee and Donuts”, and then we went back to the Y in the road and took the other option. It ended up winding it’s way back down the hill to the river and Hwy 56. The road to the left was flooded and closed, so we opted to go to the right in hopes that we would find another road back up the hill before we ran into the other section that we knew was closed. As we did we found the road I had wanted to look for, but it was completely covered by flood water from the creek that runs alongside it.

We found another road back up the hillside, but as it turned out, we ended up circling back to the 4-way stop we had originated at. We went the opposite direction this time, and found another road that turned to gravel. Unfortunately we were once again forced to turn around when we ran into a creek that the bridge had washed away and hadn’t been replaced.

At this point the sun was starting to get lower in the sky, and it was becoming cloudy and cool pretty quickly, so we decided to start back towards the house. We took one of our favorite roads back that is curvy with nice scenery, so that was a fun way to round out the day with some slightly more aggressive riding.

Here’s a screenshot from our Rever app map of today’s ride:

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And here is a shot of Tora after we got back, nice and muddy once again

We are supposed to get another inch or two of rain over the next two days, followed by cooler temps on Friday, so it will be at least next week before we get to ride again, but at least today’s awesome adventures can tide us over a bit until then.

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