Well, today seems to be my day of things falling apart. All started out well but sheesh - it got hot and, um, I REALLY need to figure out what to do when that happens because it is going to be hot a lot from now on and fading in the heat is not a very productive solution.
And, starting with what JUST happened, I somehow erased the day's pictures. ARGH!!! And I had a REALLY nice video of my shadow, riding past the pecan trees. You'll just have to imagine how great it was. Nice and steady. Great light. Morning, you know, strong and east and... Oh well.
We started early this morning, all nervous about the heat and the wind and convincing the guides to let us get going at the start of light. (okay - to tell you the truth, this early time is now affectionately referred to as "the butt crack of dawn." We may LOOK like mature women but we do NOT act like them.)
The morning riding was just fine. Pecan groves and more pecan groves. Flooded pecan groves and pruned pecan groves. Oh, and new pecan groves and old pecan groves. And then, all of a sudden, it seemed, we reached the outskirts of El Paso and just like that we were hugging the Rio Grande and that STUPID fence appeared again and the Border Patrol appeared again too, cruising back and forth on the levees of what IS a lovely river but NOT when it is lined by 15' high fencing. What a colossal waste of our money. I swear.
We pedaled into Texas with no fanfare. No signs. No trumpets. Not much of anything to distinguish it from New Mexico except for one flag. Ah well. We were lucky to miss the wind and the strongest heat of the day. 66 miles is really not very long, especially after those 80+ mile days which also had significant elevation gains. Today's ride was mostly flat.
The end of the ride, though, got quite hot and there is something that happens when the cue sheet says "1 mile" and that is, that one mile stretches out interminably and the numbers on the houses seem to increase by fractions, not by whole numbers. But just when it seems like we will NEVER, EVER arrive, there is the awesome sight of the Comfort Inn, totally generic, and yet completely inviting. Home!!!
Today's glitch collection included, however, one final insult. As I was coming out of the lobby, after trying to be patient while the clerk searched for my missing reservation, I noticed something on my tire. A tiny burr? NO! A GOATHEAD Sticker. The bane of a bike rider's existence. I pulled the little pesky thing out and heard that stomach turning sound, "psssssssssssssssss...." FLAT! Right outside the lobby.
I HAD been one of only four or five riders who had not had a flat. I now have had one. And one will be enough. (OKAY??)
I'll see if we can improve on this day's tales when we leave El Paso tomorrow and head for the Texas countryside.