Van Horn to Ft. Davis, TX
A long ride today with many of the challenges of the previous couple of days – all combined into one. The first 40 miles were on the interstate again which is far from a scenic and enjoyable trip. I mentioned previously that the speed limit is 80 and the trucks are at least 2 to 1. And some of those bad boys are big, and loud and fast. You shudder as they go past you.
I was anxious to get off of there – but as always you have to be careful what you wish for. While on the interstate the winds were favorable, and we were able to make good time. Arriving at mile 40 we took a right off the I-10, and lunch was set up at mile 48. Sounded simple enough. Until the right hand turn proved to be full of crosswinds and headwinds…oh and our first introduction to Texas chip seal road surface. Chip seal is two handfuls of gravel to one handful of tar. Bumpy, jostling and slows you down more (if that is even possible). The chip seal offers resistance, or drag on your tires. I am rolling with Continental Gatorskins which are heavier than the typical road bike tires, so I already had a bit of drag. For the first few miles you frequently stopped to see if you had a flat tire.
Back to lunch – 8 miles – should be there in no time– took me well over an hour to get there – as my legs felt like lead. We were on day 6 of a tough string of days-I did not have much left in the tank. Hmm, if blood doping was an option, I may have considered it… At lunch I seriously considered bagging it for the day as we still had 40+ miles to go. But… my trusty cycling buddy Tanya, was eager to go and off we went. The ride was very scenic, on a very quiet road. So quiet that for nearly 40 miles I believe a total of 5 cars went by us – and four were in the opposite direction. It was nice not to have traffic, but at times the remoteness, the absolute nothingness closed in on you and you felt somewhat deserted. The winds did not quit for many miles. And neither did we. When I calculated the time it would take to get to our destination based on our current speed – I was happy that we had moved into central time zone and that it was daylight until 8! Ultimately we did not need that much time – but lets just say that we arrived for the second night in a row right as dinner was being served.
I am dedicating today’s blog to my cycling buddy, Tanya – without her today, I would not have made it. At mile 62 we had 15 miles of “hard climbing” to do, and I had been out of gas at mile 48. But we did it, she believed in me, she challenged me, and we did it together. One mile at a time. Thank you Tanya.
It also reminded me of how valuable it is to have people that believe in you, that help you to be better than you thought you can, to help you dig deep when you have nothing, and to make you laugh when you are on the verge of tears. I am so very fortunate to have friends like these in my life. And I thank all of you! It really is better when you do not have to go it alone!
We are staying at the Indian Lodge located in the Davis Mountains. I am looking forward to my rest day, and am going to head over to the McDonald Observatory.
Note- internet and cell connections are often weak ( how I do miss my hi-speed internet…) I will get pics up when I can.