My cycling journey around the American perimeter
81 miles – Total so far: 418 miles
Slept well in my open tent a stone’s throw from Mexico. The stars at night, were big and bright, deep in the heart …. you get the point. Packed up in the dark and headed out for what was to be a long day. The first stop 20 miles into the dark ride was the town of Langtry. Langtry, you may recall, was home to Judge Roy Bean, who offered his own brand of “Law West of the Pecos”. With a current population of 45, not many folks get to experience that brand.
The next 40 miles offered what we Texans call Big Country. The sky is big, the hills are big, and the people are gritty tough. Throughout this morning’s part of the ride, I heard repeatedly what sounded like babies crying deep in the brush country. Honestly, it started becoming a bit disconcerting, until I finally figured out what it was. This is predominantly sheep and goat country, and I learned that as the baby goats would be startled by my passing, many would let out a cry that sounded eerily like a baby. Weird, but at least I wasn’t hallucinating.
The small amount of traffic on this stretch was predominantly U.S. Border Patrol and 18 wheelers, with little else. Services were very, very sparse, and the only other towns I came to were Dryden and Sanderson, my end point. The morning started off cool, but by afternoon the temperatures must’ve been around 100 degrees, and much hotter on the asphalt. The final 20 miles into Sanderson were the toughest. The elevation increased 1500 feet in total today, much of it the last few miles into Sanderson.
Ran into two notable couples today. The first were Jim and Heidi (I think), cyclists heading to New Orleans and then North to Wisconsin, their home. The second couple, Nanini and Beni, a German couple visiting Texas from their home country, win the “Angels of the Day” Award. Deep into today’s ride, they saw me holed-up at a roadside stop, looking pretty drained. They came over, offered me cold drinks, and we traded stories, until I was ok to resume riding. I love the human spirit, and I love the kindness of total strangers. The only wildlife I saw today were rabbits, and lots of buzzards, some of which seemed to be circling me.
Staying at the Outback Oasis Motel in Sanderson, trying to figure out logistics for tomorrow. A major cold front is moving into the area after midnight, plunging temperatures over the next few days into below freezing territory, and expected wind gusts to reach 60 mph. Goodness gracious. Only in West Texas!
It’s All Good.
Photo of the Day: There is beauty even in ghost towns
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