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Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 23 (21 riding): Total overall distance: 1585.74mi Total distance today: 71.85mi Total time: 5.41.00 Avg speed: 12.4mph Top speed: 37.0mph

Random thoughts of the day:
-I have crossed the Guadalupe River 17 times in the last 2 hours. How is that even possible? And 1 time in the middle, it was dry...explain that!
-Bicyclists are like boaters, every time they see each other, they wave...and that goes for the real bikers too...our faster 2 wheeled comrades...they always give a little low wave
-Hill Country is really hard...hill country with a headwind is wicked hard
-I just went 37mph and was braking the whole time because of the curves...wowsa
-I can officially say I've stealth camped on this trip...sweet
-These views make the hills all worth it

Today was a pretty good day all in all. The morning was a pain because I had to try and dry out the tent but sine it was really foggy and wasn't drying. So I packed it up wet but was will delayed quite a bit by the dampness. I didn't leave until about 10:15. There were some really tough climbs, especially going into the wind on some of them, but the two biggest climbs come tomorrow. In a 4 hour stretch today, I think I saw a total of about 5 cars...including 1 1/2 hours of nothing at all. I had by far the best view of the trip and one that will be tough to beat towards the end of the day. I was riding through two cliffs on either side of me while descending with mountain views in front of me...unreal. The photos I took don't do this area any justice.

I planned on camping at a state park that was on the route but when I asked how much for a tent site with electricity and water...they said $23. I actually laughed and walked away. That is just highway robbery. $23 to sleep on the ground in my own tent. Yes I get a shower and power but not $23 worth! So I decided to keep on truckin and see what came up. There was another possible place about 10 miles up the road that I could try. The problem was I had no cell service (and I won't have any for quite a while most likely) and it was off the route by 4 miles. If that was a no-go I was in trouble. So instead, I decided to stop at a country store at the intersection of 187 and 337. I asked the lady inside if she minded if I pitched a tent behind here store. She didn't so I bought some snacks and hung out for a little while trying to dry out the tent completely. Eventually it dried with the wind and at the same time, her husband and co-owner of the store drove up with supplies. I find it so cool that they are the only store for miles on end and have to drive into a bigger city far away to get supplies to sell. Plus they have two really old gas pumps that are the only ones for miles. It's all really neat stuff. Anyway, he told me it was most likely going to rain and possibly storm out tonight and I should try to put my tent under their overhang on the cement. So after a little bit of work and ghetto-rigging, I got my tent up and sheltered from any weather. I put the bike in the small bathroom on the side of the building to keep that dry. I am sleeping on cement but it isn't all that bad, mainly thanks to Phil and Goldie from Baton Rouge who gave me a roll of padding to take with me. It has come in mighty handy. I am going to bed around 7:30 since it is dark and I have nothing to service and no shower :( but it is free and sheltered. Thank you to the wonderful store owners!

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