Day 23(Wednesday, May 11):Sanderson,TX to Langtry, TX –61 miles
May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment
Today was a late start day(8 am) due to strong headwinds in the early morning. The forecast had more favorable conditions by 5 am; needless to say they were off by a few hours.
Our route, 62 miles with one occasionally open post office/store in an area described on the Internet as a Texan ghost town.
We are off; the sun is already up and the temps a balmy 80 degrees with 83% humidity. Though we are supposed to lose 1,000 feet of elevation, it seems we gain that and more with the constant hills.
We still seem to make good time or perhaps I should say Joe makes good time. The increasing heat, hills and humidity are difficult for me.
We arrive in Langtry and immediately make a beeline to the General Store on the highway. We quench our thirst: a liter of fluid for each of us, though we had been regularly hydrating and stopping in the shade.
I ask about the community center, a mile away near the Judge Roy Bean Museum. Supposedly we can camp there, though no toilet facilities are available after 5pm. Sounds okay. I had heard about a trailer for rent, though it is not mentioned on our maps; I ask about it. Thus we are in a fifth wheel trailer behind the gasless gas station- the temp outside is 97; inside we have water, AC, TV, a shower etc. The bicycles, for the first time, are roasting outside.
Tomorrow we expect an early start as another scorcher is in the forecast.
We need to find a bike shop for Joe as his front wheel is talking to him on a regular basis.
There was just a knock on our door and a motorcycling couple from Florida, Jerry and Beverly, invited us over for a glass of wine in front of the now closed gas station. They were low on gas(the gas station was even lower–no gas until tomorrow), so a friendly local gave them a ride 30 miles to the next town for gas. They are back and ready to celebrate. We finish their bottle of wine; the owner of the gas station shows up(with his beautiful Great Dane,Gus) to reopen for some locals who need beer; generously he gives us each a bottle of wine! While we exchange stories, two other bicyclists show up, Kristine and Kevin from California. They have been on the road for three months, organizing volunteering opportunities as they go–KarmicProliferation.org, A Venture in Global Volunteerism. They were also in Sanderson last night, but prefer really late starts-11:30 am! We share some wine with them. A great evening and a pleasant end to a long day.
Until tomorrow from somewhere in the south of Texas really close to Mexico ….
We now have new natural disasters to watch out for: tornadoes(on the news tonight, we are now in the red zone), flash floods(Del Rio, 60 miles further on our route, had one three days ago) and thunderstorms with the accompanying hail(in the forecast for today along with high winds). I am sure there are a few others I have not mentioned.
Extreme high temperatures are not a natural disaster, however climbing hills on a bicycle in 98 degree temps is not easy.
An observation: the green and white border patrol vehicles remain our constant companions. We find them parked on the roadside at the tops of rises(gives them a better view), checking the gravel road that runs parallel and a few feet away from Highway 90 for footprints; they also regularly “sweep” the gravel with a tire contraption, the better to see fresh tracks with. The border patrol also have the biggest, best and brightest installations along our route. Now I know where our taxes go.
An interesting interlude from yesterday:As we returned from dinner, the Indian motel manager flagged Joe down and asked him for advice on how to meet a Mexican woman in Manzanillo. What should he do; the border women in Del Rio are mainly interested in a green card?
Joe laughed and responded, “Well, the first thing would be to learn some Spanish. Other than that I don’t know what to tell you.”. Another little chuckle from Joe.