Day 24(Thurs, May 12):Langtry, TX to Del Rio, TX : 62 miles
May 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
We awaken at 4:15 am to the roar of thunder and the crackling flash of lightening. Joe’s first thought: our bikes and belongings are outside and unprotected in the event of rain. We rush outside in the blowing wind, flashes of lightening sparking around us, to rescue the bikes and put them under cover.
Then we try to get another hour or so of sleep….
However before that, I check for any updates on current weather conditions and find this:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN AUSTIN SAN ANTONIO HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR… VAL VERDE COUNTY… * UNTIL 500 AM CDT. * AT 416 AM CDT…NWS METEOROLOGISTS HAVE DETECTED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL…AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 13 MILES SOUTHEAST OF JUNO…AND MOVING EAST AT 10 MPH. * SOME LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE LOMA ALTA AND THE DEVILS RIVER STATE PARK PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 AM CDT THURSDAY MORNING FOR SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS.
The winds start up and literally shake the fifth wheel trailer back and forth. We hear the ping of hail as the rain starts to pour in ernest.
From drought to this; isn’t that the plot of “The Rainmaker”? If Joe is Burt Lancaster, which character am I? Joe’s comment: you are just a character!
As we leave for the day, I check the Weather Channel on my iPhone one last time: more news–there are now flash flood warnings for the county.
Nonetheless we leave promptly at 7am; the roads are wet with puddles. The temp is already 77; the humidity, 83%. We are in for another great day.
It is only us, the ever diligent border patrol and the semi trucks, which give us a quick shower by providing us with a sprinkling of roadside water whenever they pass.
As usual, there are more hills than we expect and it seems we are going slower than usual.
At the thirty mile halfway point, the winds change and we start going downhill. This small gift helps as it is really heating up out here.
We pass a border station uneventfully. Then a few minutes later, a border patrol, lights flashing, blocks the road in front of me. Do I get my own road blockade? It turns out to be nothing; he is blocking traffic for a huge trailer.
Several miles later, a baby blue Rolls Royce, goes by in the other lane. Texas certainly is a land of contrasts. Last night, we were fortunate to have a meal- the only choice: a beef brisket sandwich from the No Gas gas station. We will take two, please. Good sustenance.
Add some soda and two ice cream bars and we are set.
We pass the Amistad Reservoir National Park; within a few miles we are in Del Rio in the cool comfort of a motel room. Next stops: the nearby bike shop, the laundromat and a barber for Joe.
We met more bicycle tourists: a French couple at the bike shop and South Carolina Roy on a recumbent bike due to a neck injury; it is slow going for him. His bike does not do well on hills; he pushes it up many of them. They are all going West and have one question: is the desert hot?
Another day completed; even the locals are complaining about the heat!
Tomorrow we start the 4th( in the series of 7) Southern Tier map. Yippee! I am looking at modifying the route(visit San Antonio instead of Austin) so I have some homework in front of me tonight.
Until tomorrow– your two intrepid adventurers…..