Our freezer is tiny…which means we can’t keep a lot of meat frozen at once…which means we need to go to a grocery store way more than when we’re at home. Fortunately, we have bikes that we carry with us. Unfortunately, sometimes the grocery stores aren’t very close…and sometimes it’s raining.
We arrived at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA on a Saturday, and had planned on doing a grocery store provisioning run on Sunday and then staying for another day, maybe two, to enjoy the peaceful anchorage. The only problem is that Sunday was a beautiful and warm, sunny day and the beach was calling loudly, so we heeded it’s call, packed a little picnic lunch (brie, crackers and apples…one of my all time favorites!) and headed for the lake.
Monday rolled around, the temperature dropped, and it rained pretty much all day. Tuesday was a repeat of Monday. By Wednesday, we were going stir crazy! The temperatures were still cool, but the rain was supposed to be done. We weren’t leaving Erie yet because the wind and waves out on the big lake were still fierce. So, we made our shopping lists, got the bikes in the dinghy and headed to Lowes and Walmart to pick up supplies. Perfect weather for a 20 mile round trip ride, or so we thought.
A stop at Lowes for some odds and ends and then to Walmart for groceries, where we loaded up. Each of us was wearing a backpack and Jim had a rack with baskets on either side of his back tire, which we were trying out for the first time. After checking out, we went out to the bikes and proceeded to re-pack the food so that we could comfortably carry it all back to the boat. We had one insulated bag, and another bag which could zip shut that both fit perfectly into the two bike baskets, so into the insulated bag went all of our refrigerated purchases, and into the other bag went all of our heavy purchases…a cantaloupe, potatoes, and onions for starters. The rest was split between our two backpacks, making sure we were careful not to bruise the bananas or squish the bread, and then off we went back towards the boat.
And wouldn’t you know it! About two-thirds of the way back, it started sprinkling. We pulled over and checked radar and sure enough, there was more rain headed our way. We rode on. The rain picked up. We pulled over again and took cover at the local senior center where we checked radar again and Jim continued to assure me that it “really wasn’t supposed to rain today”! We waited it out for about 15 minutes and decided to move on since it seemed to have died down. Yeah right…it picked up again, but now we just wanted to be back, so we kept riding and it did eventually die down. At least until we reached our dinghy, at which time it really started raining! We loaded up the dinghy…Jim in first, then the groceries, bikes on top and then I squeezed in up front and we headed back in the rain.
By the time we got the bikes back on board and the groceries put away, all thoughts of a nice dinner on the grill were long gone and we settled instead for a hearty meal of hamburger helper, garlic bread and canned corn. Not my favorite by any stretch of the imagination, but it got the job done!
I wish I had a better picture to share…one with the dinghy loaded with provisions, bikes and people, but alas, the rain was coming down good at this point, so instead, here is a picture of Jim with the bikes and the bags in the baskets on his bike. The dinghy is alongside the dock and our boat is in the distant background. Hopeful that next time it won’t be raining and I can share a picture of the loaded dinghy!