Monday, January 21, 2013

P4W2 Day 16 Sanderson - Comstock, TX 88 miles

I thought today was going to be easy.  Howling dogs, long-haul trucks, and freight trains kept me up two-thirds of the night.  The last third I crashed in the laundry room of the campground.  By the time I awoke it was 8 AM and a bicycler going the other direction assured me it was all downhill to Del Rio.

The net elevation change to Del Rio is downhill.  But Highway 90 crossed multiple side canyons entering the lower Rio Grande, so the route today was a roller coaster affair.  And then, there was the old  fickle wind.  Today it blasted me head-on for the entire day.   Westbound truckers driving at or above the 75 mph speed limit would hit me with their own dose of headwind.  I buried my head into my left shoulder a lot today, to avoid get a pushback from the truck wind blasts while steering the bike using the rearview mirror.

When I finally relegated myself to a slow slog across the desert, I noticed a bunch of things.  This part of Texas, with the exception of dry river canyons, really flattens out.  And gradually things turned greener today.  And for the first time since Day 1 I even saw actual clouds.  I suspect that the climate is slowly changing, finally influenced  by the Gulf of Mexico. 

Today lacked wildlife.  Or perhaps my head was facing the pavement longer than usual.  But this area has some beautiful limestone rocks that are used for home flooring and furnishings.  One of my procrastination stops featured really pretty tables and benches made of limestone blocks... likely weighing pretty close to my bike today. 

This is a quiet part of Texas where I find myself, and very peaceful when the trucks aren't rumbling by.  The air is still desert-clean and the stars are shining.  It seems torn between climates.  A chill is in the night air, reminiscent of the cold and snowy Davis Mountains just 100 miles back.  But crickets are chirping in the middle of January, indicating that the sub-tropical climates of the Texas Gulf Coast can't be all that far away.


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