October 7, 2015
McDonald Observatory -> Van Horn, TX: 74 miles
Time on bikes: 5:28hrs
Unfortunately we didn’t get to go to the Star Party last night. There were some really bad thunderstorms in the area and headed our way…not to mention HAIL the same day! People were showing us pictures of hail that was in the town we had just biked through! Crazy! So we were still at the Observatory and they just made the announcement of the bad weather and we had to decide what we were going to do about camping. The plan was to bike about 7 miles (after the star party) to a campsite just up the hill. BUT the storm was really close and we didn’t want to get stuck in that…not to mention its like pitch black up at the Observatory. They keep lights to a minimum for the astronomers. The people working at the Observatory were very nice and found us a spot to camp about a mile away. We booked it! Joe and I did not want to set up our tent in the pouring rain. Thankfully we made it and got everything in the tent just minutes before it started raining 🙂 Let’s just say I didn’t get the best sleep, the storms lasted all night & I even heard about 4 coyotes in the middle of the night! In the morning we were slow to wake up to our alarm & gooood thing we were lazy because it started raining again about 10 minutes after our alarm went off. YAY more sleep 🙂 The rain didn’t last too long. (side note: we camped on the side of the road just outside of someone’s fence/driveway) While we were packing every thing up a truck with a couple guys in cowboy hats pull into the driveway. As they were driving down they turned on sirens and started honking and making loud noises. I was so confused haha I had no idea what they were doing! Then I heard a bunch of cows making noises and saw cows from miles away starting to walk over towards the men. That was the first time I had witnessed that haha but I’m assuming their goal was to wake the cows up. Anyways I had my first fall! Nothing to worry about, it was pretty hilarious. My foot got stuck in the clip and I basically fell over in slow motion 😛 So including the Charleston, SC -> Key West trip from last year, I’ve gone about 3,000 miles on my bike without falling…that’s pretty good right?! I don’t know the statistics on that one. About an hour later and halfway to Van Horn, we passed a group of 15 cyclists that were on their way to St. Augustine! We were the first cyclists going East that they’ve seen since leaving San Diego. We were about 37 miles from town when we saw everyone. Once we made it to town we stopped at the first RV park & it was the best! Only $10 to camp with water, electric & coffee in the morning! That’s a good deal…Once again we got bad thunderstorms & it was COLD at night! We didn’t bring the right gear for this! I think we’re going to get some warm weather gear in Phoenix.
October 8, 2015
Van Horn -> Fort Hancock, TX: 71miles
Time on bikes: 5:11hrs
When it’s cold outside it is very hard to get up in the morning! Joe and I ended up getting on the road at about 10 am, but we knew we were going through another time zone today so it wasn’t too bad. We were on our way after a couple cups of coffee and our hot cereal/grits breakfast of course. The weather was basically crappy all day. Overcast, chilly and somehow we didn’t get rained on even though we were surrounded by black clouds. It wasn’t too bad though, at least I wasn’t dying of heat. Earlier in the day Joe had mentioned that he thought it was ironic the one time we are both carrying 3 extra tubes each, neither of us has had a flat in weeks. Well, what do you think happened today? Only 3 flats haha All of this was less than 10 miles from Fort Hancock. As we were getting closer to town we could see the wall for the Mexican border! Apparently this is the only town that actually has a wall for the border haha and we talked to border patrol and they said people just go to the next town and walk around it. Sounds kind of pointless to me. Fort Hancock looked like we were biking through Mexico…sand, dirt, and cinderblock houses. Anyways, once we got to town Joe and I were looking for Linda. Cyclists we had met a week earlier told us that Linda has a church in town and would be more than happy to let us stay in it for the night. Fort Hancock is a very, very small town and we found her at the only restaurant there 🙂 She took us to the church, let us in, and told us there were snacks, sodas, coffee and to make ourselves at home. She was not kidding! We walked in and there was a note for us next to a box of snacks! Linda lets a lot of cyclists stay in her church and I think that is the sweetest! It’s nice sleeping inside after a couple rainy nights of camping.