Sunshine and Horizontal Rain – Crawling to Sanderson – 7th April 2014 (63 miles – 60 on route).

Today was the day the mile-ometer said 2000 miles, so that’s the distance we’ve now done from St Augustine (tho’ we did about 120
before that getting from Orlando to the official start). The bikes are showing signs of wear – Guy’s pedal (left) looks bad and is playing up a lot. My back tyre will need replacing before very much longer, helped on its way by the battering that the rather rough roads of Texas (my tyres really want a smooth fast rolling surface). Well it may all turn out OK… There’s about 100 miles to the nearest bike shop so it isn’t going to all be fixed today.

We had a big breakfast (very nearly vegetarian) at the store cum diner in Langtry, meeting Dan ( who is doing a the transam in month long chunks – a likeable character heading east and from very near San Fran where we will finish.

Then we set off, Murphy tagging along, which was a nice addition. There was food only after 40 miles – at Dryden – so we were all carrying extra water (this is a desert after all) and lunch. A cross/headwind turned up in style after about 11am or so, getting fierce and gusty. This was particularly difficult for Murphy whose front panniers were being blown around in the gusts. We had lunch after 30 miles (a friendly passing car gave us a bottle of water each! and then another friendly car stopped to find out where we were going and why) than another 10 miles to Dryden where, yes!, there really was a store! Ice-cream and coke to celebrate! Murphy decided to camp by the store (the owner was OK about this) and do the final 20 in the early part of tomorrow (we are still in bed at this part of the day) when the thermal wind has not got going. Very logical. We were concerned that the store lacked key nutritional elements of our diet (beer) and we find getting up early difficult so we ploughed on (we also sneaked a peek at the map and noticed that the road went a little less into the wind for the next ten miles). We also liked the nearness of the train track – these Union Pacific trains are a joy, replacing huge numbers of trucks and having a ‘Casey Jones’ romance about them. Indeed, whenever I see a huge train go past cycling stops until I can stop gawping…

Anyway, we ploughed on, slightly less battered by the wind, though horizontal rain hitting us while in hot sunshine (from a distant cloud, blown miles by the strong winds). We saw a plaque commemorating a train robbery on the nearby railway (committed by friends of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – 4 people died in the robbery, including both robbers), then winding along Sanderson’s Canyon, until we arrived – wow it’s 6.45pm! Our average was under 10mph! The owner of a motel suggested we stay but our hearts were set on the RV Park and a night under canvas, so we set up, bought a heap of food and settled in. Ah, the homeliness of a small tent in the high desert of Western Texas! A shower is a great thing after 60+ miles of cycling – amazing how much dust, insects, sweat and bike grease find their way onto your skin…

The video is I think the only one that includes Murphy – and the wind hadn’t kicked in a that point and made things rather tough. Nuns? Well, we’d wondered if we could have thousands of them sweeping into camera in Cecil B DeMille style, but the desert was nun-less so it was just Guy and Murphy.

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One Response to Sunshine and Horizontal Rain – Crawling to Sanderson – 7th April 2014 (63 miles – 60 on route).

  1. amanda says:

    Great photos and blogs, thanxx. Have a fab time especially in Grand Canyon, sounds magical! Cheers :-)