On Saturday Donna and I led the Masters Miata Club on the drive to the North Carolina mountains to see some fall color and drive on a few windy roads (read about it here.) On the way home at our last pit stop in McCormick, SC we put the top up because it looked like rain ahead. The top was down when we left home 11 hours and 400 miles ago and truth be told, we were glad of the excuse because it was about time to take a break from the sun, the wind and the noise.
About 10 miles south of McCormick, as we passed through Plum Branch, I looked left at the dark clouds, thanking ourselves on our decision to raise the roof, when I noticed a small segment of barely visible rainbow. Oooh, we need a rainbow for the Moss Motoring Challenge. I conferred with my navigator, and Donna said, “Turn around.” So, I did a U-turn across the 5 lanes of US221 and turned right on SC283. After a bit, we came to a side road, turned down it and stopped. The rainbow segment was still there. I hopped out and took a picture. When we reviewed it inside the car it was fairly disappointing looking. It was recognizable as a bit of rainbow and would probably count, but both of us were unsatisfied.
Because the sun was going down in the west and 283 traveled east and the rain was ahead in the east, we agreed to keep going in that direction hoping for a better rainbow. A 1/2 mile further along down the road it was still wet from the rain having just been there and another 1/2 mile further it started to rain lightly. The two-lane road was surrounded by tall pine trees, but after a slight shift in road direction the sun popped out behind us and the rainbow appeared in front of us seemingly starting right in the middle of the road. I slowed down to pull over and had to pick a spot carefully because there was very little shoulder. By the time I got stopped and jumped out of the car into the light rain, the sun mostly disappeared and the rainbow, while still visible, had faded considerably. I took several vertically orientated pictures to capture the car, road, trees and about a third of the rainbow’s arc. The in-car review of my efforts had us agreeing that this was much better than the first attempt, but still left a little to be desired.
In for a penny, in for a pound, so we thought even though it was a bit out of the way, we’d drive the whole 20 miles east to Edgefield before turning south to Aiken to see if another rainbow opportunity showed up. Because of the recent downpour, the grass was very wet and the ground a little soggy, so as I pulled back onto the road, the back tire started to spin. I eased off the gas and returned to the road somewhat gracefully, but vowed that next time we pulled over to take a rainbow.
Well, not 3 miles further down the road, everything came together, the sun came out, the rainbow brightened and an empty Baptist church parking lot appeared on the right.