This time of year, in this part of the world, it's advisable not to venture away from shelter without provisions for the "what ifs."
The sky was dark all day. I missed my "noon time" ride, and so was hoping to take the scenic route home. But alas, it wasn't to be. The weather didn't cooperate.
I started from the office with jacket in fanny-pack, but only made it a mile or so before the rain was falling. And within 2 or 3 minutes, not only was rain falling out of the sky, but hailstones as well. Perhaps not as big as grapes... but easily as big as raisins. I was glad to be wearing jacket and helmet.
I'm reminded of something I witnessed back in August, 2003, during my only visit to Rocky Mountain National Park.
August is "monsoon season" over there, in the high country. The days typically start off clear as a bell. But as the day progresses, the climatic conditions cause clouds to build up over those 14,000-foot peaks. And as often as not, those clouds open up, at least for a short while, in the afternoon.
As I rode [the motorcycle!] through the breathtaking scenery, the clouds were building. I pulled over and donned the Gore-Tex - just in time! As I was putting the brain-bucket back on, I could hear the irregular "tink... tink..." of good-sized hailstones on the fiberglass.
It poured! For 15 or 20 minutes. In fact, I didn't even take off down the road; I stayed in place and waited for it to blow over.
While I was standing there, I heard the rumble of other motorcycles... and along came a convoy of 6 or 8. Most of the riders were dressed in their "muscle" style T-shirts, "'do rags," etc. Not a sign of a jacket or a helmet. Many had "mommas" on back, likewise inappropriately decked out... and looking, um... distressed. Yeah, those biker costumes might be appropriate for back in the Big City, but they were obviously ill-prepared for real-life weather conditions.
Be prepared! The Scout Motto. Words to live by.