The wind has been in my face pretty much for the last 10 days. I had a couple of days with almost no headwind but it has been pretty constant other than those couple of days. The wind makes progress rather difficult. The effort to reward goes way down. My daily averages have dropped off significantly over the past week or so. If the whole trip was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. I am learning that even some progress is worth the effort. So many times in my past I was more content with just being where I was and not working on moving forward. I am learning on this ride that progress is still progress. I can learn to work though the tough times and enjoy the downhill tailwind days to make up the difference.
So back to some of the things that have happened recently. I have met a young man name John who is the same age as my son Aaron. He too is riding around the perimeter of the US. He started in Oct in New York and headed south. He caught up with me on my way out of Sanderson, TX. We kind of road together for the next couple of days. More like I would leave and he would catch me, ride with me for a few miles and then loose me on a hill. I would catch back up to him on his break. We both stopped at a hostel in Marathon, TX. They are very kind and let bicyclist stay one night for free. The place is very eccentric.
It reminds me of an old hippie commune. They kind of build little buildings as they can and they are very unique I must say. Using bottles in the walls gives the interior an eerie light but very cool. When you stay there you have to sign a waiver saying that you won’t sue them for anything that might happen to you while you are there. I stayed in the Beehive and John stayed in the main building. He was too tall to comfortably stay in the hive so I did.
After leaving Marathon we both rode toward Alpine, TX. That is where I said goodbye to John, at least for now. He is staying with some friends for a day or two and I went on to Marfa. I do expect him to pass me again, in fact he may have passed me today while I took the day off in Sierra Blanca to watch football.
Marfa is a small artsy town and just before you get there they have a viewing station to watch the Marfa Lights. I was there during the daytime so I didn’t see anything but if you are ever out that way stop at night and take a look. Apparently it doesn’t happen all that often but enough that many people have seen them. https://www.google.com/search?q=Marfa+lights&espv=2&biw=1368&bih=787&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj50byAsbLKAhWGFT4KHUrqDOcQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=lw6lafS8-NE_CM%3A
After leaving Marfa my goal was Van Horn but the winds were so strong I wussed out and stopped in Valentine, TX. I stayed at the library which had of all things an astro turf yard. I was able to set my tent up on the green turf and under a big pavilion for the night. Nice conditions like that can spoil a person. I made it to Van Horn the next night. Still being beaten by wind I stayed in Van Horn.
The big debate I had was when I got here to Sierra Blanca, TX. It was a really short day only 32 miles. It was another 40 miles to get to the next place I could get a room and take the day off to watch football. So after much debate I stayed here and will move on toward El Paso tomorrow (18 Jan 2016). I am about 10 days out from meeting my mother-in-law and my eldest son who is flying down to Phoenix to see me.
I have a couple of days of buffer in there as long as I get there before he does. I will take some time off with Carol and catch up on a few things and help her out.
Sorry but when I am tent camping it makes getting blog posts up a bit harder. Hopefully this one catches you up with where I am and what is coming up. I look forward to what is next. Until next time…..