Thursday, January 24, 2013

P4W2 Day 19 Kerrville - Kyle, TX 101 miles

Today felt like the longest day of the tour so far.  Changes of weather and scenery and road conditions.  This day had it all.  In the morning I started rolling in cool, dense fog and made 20 easy flat miles to Comfort.  Mesillas felt like a textbook New Mexico town last week; Comfort felt like a textbook Texas small town today.  It had stately 19th century limestone buildings in its historic district.  Enough money was being put into the old part of town to maintain it and several very tasteful shops that sold me several thousand calories of pastries.   Skeeter the reconstruction builder took my photo in front of the old Comfort saloon (with its original windows intact from the 1870s).  I pointed to where I thought I was in Texas, pretty meager after a week of hard pedaling!   The Adventure Cycling Association Southern Tier bike route is not the straightest route across the country, but has largely kept me off the interstate highways and exposed me to the true flare of the land.  Comfort, Sisterville, Blanco, and Wimberley were all very nice, tasteful towns that I passed through today.  The countryside had that savannah-type feel: grassland broken by scattered live oaks and junipers.  The smell of juniper permeated the air today.

It was unbelievably hot today.  No sooner did I leave Comfort than I spotted a red shouldered hawk - my first of the trip - nest building high atop a cypress tree overlooking the river.  Which season is this supposed to be!?  And why am I carrying winter gear across the country?  With the bulk of the nation gripped in cold, I wished the sun to go away.  I suspect it got to 85 F today, mighty hot given a really challenging roller coaster of a ride across the eastern half of the Hill Country.  The heat really took some energy out of me today, especially over the last 80 miles of the day.  

I am starting to wonder if there is a way out of Texas.  The great folks at Arrowhead Bicycles in Kyle, TX fit me in on short notice this evening for a quick check of the bike.  They changed my chain, my third of the trip...a sure sign I have been mashing the pedals pretty hard.  But while I was there I made the mistake of looking at the Texas map.  Phew! 

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