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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 28 (25 riding): Total overall distance: 1820.17mi Total distance today: 79.31mi Total time: 6.43.08 Avg speed: 11.8mph Top speed: 33.5mph

Random thoughts of the day:
-Riding down into a canyon is really cool
-Riding up and out, not so much
-Who turned on the fan? And put it on high? And pointed it directly at me?
-The interstate has really killed a lot of these towns...pretty sad
-This town has one store and the post office is a blue bin.
-It probably takes half a tank of gas just to go get gas
-There are only like 10 still standing buildings and 20-25 people living here
-In order to pump more money into this dying town, I'm pretty sure they filmed "The Hills Have Eyes" here...and it was actually a documentary
-That's not nice...I'm sure the things...I mean people here are very nice
-Seriously though, it's sad

Today was yet another tale of two rides. The first 50 miles weren't too bad. They had some decent climbs out of canyons but it was a nice temperature and very little wind. Great views too. There were no services for 40 miles which stunk but I had some PB&J's at a nice picnic area. It does get somewhat boring with few cars and fewer buildings but at least I have my Iphone with music! I was about 8 miles away from the first town in the last 40 miles when out of absolutely nowhere, the wind started gusting. The last 30 miles of the day were dead into 15-20 mile winds. The most brutal I've had to date. I was in the 3rd highest (easiest) gear and barely going 10mph. I guess I'll just consider myself lucky that it was only 30 miles of it and not all 80. I made it to Sanderson, TX around 5:15 or so. I was thinking of camping again but the nice manager at the Budget Inn gives discounts to cyclists so I grabbed a room. I could use a bed after today's ride anyway so I'm happy!

It really is sad what has happened to these towns though. I passed through one today that was down to about 30 residents. It had one store still standing but not much was in it. If you wanted anything more than the bare essentials, you had to drive 20 miles into the next town, which doesn't have all that much more. Most of the buildings were falling apart and abandoned. The area did actually look like where "The Hills Have Eyes" was filmed but it was just the topography, not the state of the people.

Tomorrow will be a relatively short day, only about 55 miles to Marathon, TX. All 55 miles will be without services so I'll have to make sure I have plenty of water in my water bottle and my awesome Camelbak (a backpack that holds 72 oz of water). It won't be long but I'll go from around 1,000 feet to around 4,000 feet in elevation, and that's not counting every time I go down and have to go back up. I am looking forward to where I'm staying tomorrow night though. It's a hostel that is free for cyclists and is made up entirely of recycled goods. I should have some great photos.

Oh, and I didn't get to see the cave in the daylight this morning which was a bummer. I did tour the small museum with some exhibits and a re-make of the cave which you can see below. I took a lot of pics again today just because some of the views were awesome. One picture I couldn't get to come out good was a picture of Mexico off i the distance. For the entire ride today, I could look left and see silhouetted mountains off in the distance in Mexico. They didn't look real at all, pretty cool. Never got all that close to the border today since the border is still the Rio Grande but saw a few Border Patrol trucks on their dirt roads. I should get some border fence pictures either tomorrow or the next day.

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