Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day Fifty-two, 090421 - Ft. Stockton, TX

Day Fifty-two, Date Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Time in Saddle: 5:59
Distance for the Day: 58.91 miles: From Pecos, TX To Ft. Stockton, TX
Accumulated Trip Distance: 2312.8 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 2846’/3277’, Highest: 3355’, Accumulated: 1007’
Speeds: Avg: 9.8 mph, Max: 20.3 mph
Weather: 45° in the AM, warming to upper-80s, low 90s in the afternoon
Expenditures: $33

The Thermarest mattress held its air better, this time, but it still seemed a little bit deflated. Demitol! It probably still has a tiny leak that will require a full-submersion water test to find. Swimming pool, anyone? I got up just as the sun was rising, right at about 6am, and packed up. I actually went back into town to pick up a few needed items (a new lighter, another spare inner-tube, a 2GB SD card, and some marker pens) ($30), and then headed out of town SE on Hwy 285, heading for Ft. Stockton. It was hotter, today, and I found it harder to get and keep up my speed. About 25 miles out of Pecos, I met this black guy, Jimmy, walking through that west Texas no-man’s land with a Stetson hat and a plastic bag with some clothes in it. He was trying to hitchhike, but no one was picking him up. I gave him a quart of Gatorade, an apple, and a big candy bar. Sure hope he was able to finally get a ride – I don’t know how he decided to try to walk anywhere in that heat without supplies, but it wasn’t a wise thing to attempt.

I watched the rest of Star Wars Ep. VII: The Empire Strikes Back, and then started Ep. VIII: Return of the Jedi. The miles crawled by in the heat; my knees were hurting again, so I had to slow down. I finished the movie, and decided to try listening to music for the first time from my CC Witness radio/mp3/recorder combo device, and it helped keep my mind off all the pain and suffering I was going through. I finally limped in to Ft. Stockton by about 3:30pm. Bill D and I had been trying to contact each other, because he was attending the practically-nearby Texas Star Party at Ft. Davis, about 80 miles to the southwest of Ft. Stockton. He offered to come pick me up and drive me up to it so I could attend for a night, and I agreed (thanks, Bill!) I went to the town library and accessed the free wi-fi, worked on the blog, and left at closing time. Then, I went to the town park, and cooked up some rice and brussel sprouts for dinner, and went into the downtown to get a Dairy Queen choco malt ($3). Unfortunately, this one wasn’t as chocolaty or malty as the one in Pecos, but I still enjoyed it. I went back to the library and found a power outlet nearby – I could work on the blog, but their wi-fi was shut down. A local in a truck stopped by out of curiosity to see what I was doing, and we chatted about my trip and the Marfa lights that were apparently an attraction of sorts someplace near the region. I worked until 11:45pm, and went to find a stealth campsite somewhere nearby.

This turned out to be a challenge; there were streets with houses, some of which had noisy dogs. I went back to the main strip, but didn’t find anything there. I remember seeing a couple of churches at the end of the town’s historic Main St., so started heading that way, when a cop car drove up and asked what the heck I was doing wandering around at midnight in a recumbent trike. I told the officer that I was looking for the Catholic church on Main St. to possibly steal… to camp, there, and he obligingly gave me directions (I almost said “stealth”). I found the church, didn’t see any sign that anyone was still up, and moved my trike behind it in a clean little alleyway between buildings. It was still shirt-sleeve weather, so I just put out my tarp, air mattress, and sleeping bag, and hit the hay at 1:40am. I would wake up early, and get out before anyone would notice. Yeehaw!


BillT said...

Don: Are you going by San Antonio? Remember Chris Burke is now based there so she might be interested in hearing about your travels?

obi_donkenobi said...

Hi Bill: I remember Chris, but my route won't quite take me into the San Antonio area - I'll pass to the north of it on as direct a route towards Houston, TX, as possible, and that will take me through Austin, to the north. Thanks for the tip, though!

Christine said...

Hi Don,

Sorry to miss you. There's no reason for a sane person to hurry to Houston you know. Austin on the other hand...
Let me know if you need anything.

Julie said...

HEY DON! HAPPY BELATED BD!!! I tried to send my wishes via my phone, but it didn't work... soooo HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Sounds like you are making pretty good progress. Keep hydrated or you'll wrinkle up and blow away....

CVBruce said...

Hey Don,

Hopefully you'll be logging in soon, so let me be the first to wish you a Happy Birthday (Monday April 27th.)


smitty said...

what up don?
its chris from day fouty two. back in colorado workin. It was nice what you said about us. glad you enjoyed your stay. Although you left two hours before the real feast. We pulled fouty pounds of meat out of the pit, that had been slow cooking for 18 hours! GOOOD FOOOOD1 says the redneck. HAPPY BIKING1

obi_donkenobi said...

Christine: Hiya! Houston's no great shakes, huh? Well, I'm sure there are Subway sandwich shops there, so it can't be *all* bad (can it?)

Julie: Thanks for the BD wishes and advice on hydration and swine flu and all. I'm following your recommendations, and so far, so good! ;-)

Bruce: Thanks also for the BD wishes! Getting to 53 has been a lot more fun than I anticipated. I hope the experience for you will be at least as interesting and educational, even more so!

Chris: I couldn't and wouldn't say nice things about you and your family if they weren't the absolute truth as I experienced them, so thank *you*.

Pity about missing that barbeque...

CVBruce said...

Hey Don,

Just an FYI, the title of your blog page has changed from "CycleAmerica2009" to "."

I have no idea how to fix it, but just wanted to let you know.


smitty said...

if given a choice would you rather peddle across tattooine, or curisant,, copy gold leader,,,

obi_donkenobi said...

Oh, that's easy: I'd much rather cycle Courisant. It's paved - Tatooine is too sandy; I'd need an anti-grav cycle, and I don't have one of those. ;~Don