Thursday, October 28, 2010

COMPLETION: MAP 4 of 6




Thursday 10-28-10. Despite some rough pavement, the ride from Fort Clark to Del Rio was very enjoyable. No major climbs, temp in the low 70's. minimal traffic, and an overcast sky. Closing in on Del Rio, we passed Laughlin Air Force Base, where single prop trainers buzzed about like angry hornets. We had been communicating with the Del Rio bike shop that ordered new tires for Ann's bike. We have now ridden 1,735 miles. Unfortunately, the tires did not arrive today, so we overnight in Del Rio and await their delivery tomorrow. The layover gave us time to strategize how we should best tackle the next 452 miles to El Paso. This is a desolate section with stretches of 80 miles without water or places to stay except some primitive and waterless campgrounds. From Del Rio, we have a multitude of climbs for approximately 200 miles that top out at 6,200 feet. We previously met 2 cyclists heading east that had sag support on this section. A number of people we have met in Texas have advised us to skip this portion of the route due to some drug cartel issues. However, there are several interesting things tucked away in this region that we don't want to miss - prehistoric rock art in Seminole Canyon Park, the mysterious lights of Marfa, and perhaps McDonald Observatory. All of these are off route and would add a number of additional days to our ride. So......we decided to rent a vehicle. We will take turns cycling while one drives sag carrying lots of water and food. This will allow us to drive to some of these poiint of interest, then return to our route and begin cycling again. Who says you can't have it all? Devoted friend, Martee Robinson, had volunteered to sag this section for us; however, she has already gone above and beyond the call of duty by keeping our dog, Zenee, entertained. Until we reach El Paso, our internet access may be limited. We will stay in touch as often as possible. We are extremely appreciative of your interest and support. Buenos Noches.

10 comments:

Dee Dee Jacobs said...

Drug cartel issues? Scary! Good luck on this difficult stretch. Sounds like you have a great plan and everything will go well.

Kelly said...

Glad to hear that you have been able to make some alternative plans to get through this stretch that will allow for a little more safety and site-seeing! Keep safe and enjoy!

Heather said...

Geez!! Be careful! I'm glad you made alternative plans so that you can get through safely.

Tim said...

Hope you guys are enjoying West Texas!

Vicki Hockensmith said...

Stay safe and let us know as soon as you are through this section. I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog. If I wasn't such a clutz, I'd be tempted to start riding!

Rhonda Werdeman said...

You guys are an inspiration! I can only imagine how tired your bums must be after all this riding :-) Love seeing your pictures and keeping up with you via the blog. What beautiful country you're seeing!

Bonnie Clair, RN said...

Hello Norb & Ann!
I lived 15 years in El Paso and can attest that the area surrounding it is barren! And Hot! It is true that it can sometimes be dangerous so close to the border, so I'm glad you are taking precautions and alternating travel in a vehicle. I believe you will enjoy your trip, desert flowers are quite beautiful (the cacti and tumbleweeds are not especially pretty though!).
Blessings to you both,
Bonnie Clair, RN

Becky Lang said...

Hi Ann and Norb-- I have really enjoyed your stories. Stay safe on this section of your ride. Your pictures are great--it is wonderful seeing the country through your eyes. I admire your strength and energy. I look forward to seeing you and hearing all about the ride when you get back to Springfield!

Crystal said...

You two amaze me every day! Stay safe and keep enjoying your travels :)

kidzwriter said...

I'm joining the chorus of relief that you've rented a sag wagon so you can see things and travel a little more safely. Extra water, food, etc. will make all the difference. Enjoy McDonald's Observatory!