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Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 24 (22 riding): Total overall distance: 1626.86mi Total distance today: 41.12mi Total time: 3.47.24 Avg speed: 11.0mph Top speed: 37.0mph

Random thoughts of the day:
-I've gone .8 miles today...and my legs are already burning...stupid mountain
-I've gone further up then I have forward
-Where's Dory from Finding Nemo when you need her..."Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling"
-I just climbed a mountain...on a bicycle
-Then I did it again
-This is the hardest thing ever!
-Speed limit: 25 Me: 32.4. Haha gotcya
-I just made the Hill Country look like Mound Country

Well it was a good thing I had the cover last night because it poured for an hour or two early in the morning...but I didn't get a drop on me. I woke up at 6:15, a little before Mr. Store Owner showed up to open the shop. I had breakfast in the dark, heard a few pointers of things to see in the next few days and pedaled away just after it got light out. He wished me luck, knowing that in less than a mile...I was going to be struggling. He was right. It took only .8 miles for me to reach the base of a 600 foot climb to a peak of about 2100 feet. The climb was very steep and very hard. I had to stop several times for a couple of minutes just to let my legs rest a little. I looked around for a gondola or elevator, but had no luck so I just kept pushing. Eventually I made it but it was very hard work...and I hadn't even gone that far yet mileage wise. Then I got to go down part of the mountain but the roads were still wet, it was very cloudy/foggy out, and it was a very windy road so I was using my brakes most of the time. Took away some of the fun of going fast, but definitely not worth the risk. I went down a little and then was met with a shorter, but just as steep hill and climbed up about 200 feet before going back down to the next town. Beautiful scenery of valleys and mountains, but unfortunately not as nice due to the cloudiness. Stupid mother nature strikes again. It took me about 2 hours to cover the 15 miles to the next town, and that includes 1/2 of it going downhill in the 20's. Tells you how slowly I went up the mountain and how much work it was. I sat down for a few minutes to give my legs a quick spell and then headed towards the base of an even bigger mountain. This time I had to go from around 1550 feet to 2315 feet...yup that's almost 800 feet...of climbing...on a bicycle...that weights 65ish my 170ish pound self. Not a simple task. Luckily my legs were now warmed up a bit and I had a little less difficulty with this one...strange. When I got to the top I saw the first car of the 18 wheeler. I was so happy to be done that I gave him the old blow the horn sign that you give to trucks and trains. He gave me a nice long beep and I felt like such a kid! A kid that just conquered a mountain, but a kid nonetheless. The way down was just as dangerous as the last mountain with the roads being wet and lots of sharp curves so I rode the brakes again...and still hit 37mph! I could've done 50 easy. Oh well. I'll hit 40 on this trip, I promise.

After so much work today and zero rush since I only have 75 miles to go to get to Del Rio, where I will have to stay Sunday to watch the Super Bowl...I called it a day early and spent $10 on a tent site at Big Oak River Camp. This place is awesome. It's located right on the Nueces River, which is barely a river anymore thanks to the drought...but still neat. It has gaming courts, cabins, a store, open ground, tent sites, RV sites, and more. I would definitely visit this place for a few days to a week with a few people or as a family down the road. Cool place with great scenery and a lot of awesome places to visit within a couple hours of driving. However, this afternoon and tonight...I am the only person in the whole place. Don't tell the owner, but I don't plan on pitching the tent. It may rain again so instead of risking it, I'm going to sleep inside on the floor of a common building and put all of my stuff inside too. Just makes sense really.

I haven't had any phone service since yesterday morning and probably won't have any for a while so if I don't respond, that's why. Internet will also be out except for places along the way with WIFI so I may go a day or a couple days without posting a blog and then one day they will all show up. Who knows. I am pretty excited about this week coming up though. I plan on staying in a park with 4,000 year old cave paintings, a really neat hostel made out of all recycled goods, and at a warmshowers host who works at the McDonald Observatory who can give me a tour! It should be a great week. Anyone who wants to fly into Del Rio, TX right on the border of Mexico to watch the Super Bowl with me...come on down!!!! GO PATRIOTS!!!

Oh, and based on my 3,200 mile total guestimation... I passed halfway big deal.

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