August 7, 2022 on

Month: October 2022 (Page 1 of 3)

Day 86 – Austin

After a very good night’s rest, I joined Dave and Regina to take Claire to work in downtown Austin. Regina had found Walton’s Fancy and Staple restaurant and wanted to try it for breakfast. We parked and walked the few blocks to the restaurant. Good coffee, good food, good company!

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Day 85 – Long, satisfying day

I left the last post in the Amtrak station in San Antonio at 5 am. After hitting the bathroom and filling my water bottles (no repeat of Lordsburg!), I headed out in the cool, dark morning on my way to Austin.

So, way back in Tucson when I was getting off the train and putting my bags on my bike, a man walked up and started asking about my trip – where I was and where I was going, etc., and that he had done some touring himself. I did a short summary and that I was going to be in Tucson for two days and then on to El Paso. He asked if I was going to San Antonio. “Yes, after El Paso.” “Do you need a place to stay?” “Well, yeah, I do. That’d be great!” He handed me his card and I gave him mine and I promised to text when I knew my schedule. I had done that a few days ago and Chili and his wife Peggy answered the text enthusiastically that they were looking forward to my visit and hearing all about my trip.

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Day 84 – Clouds and Sun

Surprisingly, today was the coldest start I’ve had on this trip at 40 degrees (4.44 for you metric using readers!). I’m in southern New Mexico in Las Cruces heading to El Paso. I started earlier than I would have if I were staying in El Paso, since I had a train to catch. A later start wouldn’t have mattered anyway as it wasn’t going to warm up until 10 or so, and the weatherman didn’t lie. I put on three layers, dug out my headband and full-fingered gloves and started out. Fortunately, while it was pretty cold, the sun was soon up in the sky enough to provide some warmth as I pedaled.

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Sad day

I’ll get to day 84 in another post, but this entry is dedicated to the memory of Martyn Pearson and his fiance Alex Olsen. Sue texted me on Saturday as I was riding to El Paso that they were killed on Friday afternoon in a head-on car collision near Deming NM where Paul, Sue, and I had just passed through.

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Day 83 – All my bags are packed

I got up, had some coffee, and packed my bags once again. Paul and Sue had graciously offered to drive me to Las Cruces rather than the original plan of Deming which saved me a 50+ mile ride along interstate 10 and frontage roads. It also meant that we didn’t have to leave in the early morning.

Paul was under orders not to swing sledgehammers for a couple of days after his flu shot. He redirected his energy to finishing a stand for his chop saw which was made out of salvaged microwave bases and wood salvaged from a house a friend of his is tearing down. I made another trip downtown to explore some more. Sue was having a meeting with the organizer of a local bike race.

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Day 82 – Single Tracking

Thursday October 27 2022. This morning, Paul took me to Boston Hill, a hiking/mountain bike trail park just a couple of blocks from their house. I rode Sue’s mountain bike as she’s currently off any bike healing a broken wrist. It was my first time on a full suspension MTB. Aside from a minor encounter with a pine tree that grabbed my handlebar and pitched me to the ground, and a bit of walking up because my lack of experience climbing step features hindered forward progress, I had a freaking blast. It’s not an easy endeavor and I was pretty tired after just 9 miles, but it was a good tired. I’ve avoided getting into the MTB world since an early crash and watching some friends get injured more than I wanted to deal with. Damn it was fun and now I get the attraction. Hmmm.

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Day 81 – Busting Stuff

Wednesday October 26. Busting stuff in a good way. After a chill morning of coffee and breakfast, Paul & I headed back out to the terrace to break up some more concrete. It was a chore, but I was enjoying both swinging the sledge and hoisting the broken pieces up to the pile above us. I said to Paul, “This feels so good. To be doing something so physical that isn’t riding a bike. It’s actually refreshing.” Whacking rocks until they break is also very cathartic. Gets a lot of pent up whatever out, even if I didn’t have anything pent up after almost 3 months of being on the road having an amazing tour. Also, I was glad to help and feel that I was doing something that was useful and productive.

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Day 80 – Riding to the Mesa

This morning we loaded the bikes in Paul’s van and drove to Pinos Altos where we parked and started riding an out-and-back to the Wild Horse Mesa. Lots of ups and downs, but a really scenic ride. We didn’t go anywhere as far as the Gila Cliff Dwellings, but there were lots of rock formations along this route that were similar geologically. On the way back we rode up to a “Point of Interest” — remnants of an Arrastra. Arrastras were used in gold mining (if you want to know more, I took pics of the marker cards).

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Days 78 & 79

Sunday October 23. In the morning, Paul and I kept on with the catching up and in the early afternoon rode to the Tranquilbuzz Coffee Shop to listen to folksinger Wally Lawder. Over coffee and a scone, I was listening as a backdrop to the visuals of the place. Very funky decor and layout & good coffee.

Paul was in and out that afternoon working on his terrace. I did laundry and rested, but the lure of the terrace destruction was too much and I went out to help Paul with some lift and toting. ‘cept we’re talking cinder blocks here and I had sandals on, and the rest of my clothing is not exactly work ready. After dodging a falling rock, we decided it was better if I found another way to help. I would get some jeans, and boots if possible, at one of the many thrift stores in the downtown area on Monday.

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Day 77 – Luck! (and some hard work)

Saturday October 22, 2022. I was so focused on getting everything packed and out the door to the train station that I forgot to look at my phone to see if the train was on time. It wasn’t. I got to the station and learned that it was an hour late which stretched to almost two. Not unexpected and I still had plenty of time in El Paso to meet my Warm Showers host as planned. I took off into the city to find some coffee and snacks for the eventual 7 hour trip. There was a big group of students going somewhere and about 40 folks overall and the station was pretty small and noisy. Could’ve used some more benches outside. I settled down outside the station on the concrete against the stucco wall and worked on the blog and some financial stuff.

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