Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day Forty-seven, 090416 - El Paso, TX

Day Forty-Seven, Date Thursday, April 16, 2009
Time in Saddle: 6:12
Distance for the Day: 51.64 miles: From Las Cruces To El Paso
Accumulated Trip Distance: 1988.8 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 4009’/4303’, Highest: 4431’, Accumulated: 1050’
Speeds: Avg: 8.3 mph, Max: 21.0 mph
Weather: Mostly clear, cool and slightly breezy, becoming pre-frontal, and then clearing and cold Expenditures: $42

I continued working on the blog at Denny’s, had breakfast there, and then left at 7:45 am to finish up at the public library (full signal strength wi-fi, there). All totaled, I spent $25 at Denny’s for dinner, a drink, and breakfast, plus $13 at Chevron for lunch, and other food items for the road. Based on the advice of Debbie D, and others around town, to head for Carlsbad Caverns via the infamous/dreaded, drug-war torn El Paso, rather than through another, tougher, mountain pass to the northeast of Las Cruces. I took a long side road that roughly paralleled Hwy 180. The clouds looked kind of “weird,” and the wind was picking up, so I thought I was going to get rained on. I pulled off to a quiet side road between walnut orchards to take a short nap. A few raindrops fell, so I put on my rain gear, but it never did rain (fooled again). I stopped in at a McDonalds and got a McSalad (or something like that) ($4), and checked the StreetAtlas. When I finally pulled into El Paso in the afternoon, that side road led into the industrial section at the east side of town, and I didn’t see anyplace I’d want to stealth camp in. I backed-up a mile, and took a road leading into a kind of upscale suburb of the region called Coronado Hills – lots of neighborhoods, with a main strip of nice, name-brand businesses, and *churches*. I found one right off the main strip (not so good due to traffic noise, but it was getting dark), and knocked at all the doors. There were cars in the lot, but no one answered. Hmmm, I thought I’d look around more to see if I could find anything else, but keep this one in mind. So, I rode further up the main strip, and found another couple of churches, but one looked like it was having a big event, and the other one already had some kids camping out behind it, and I knew that would be out of the question. I went back to the original church, and the cars were gone. I found one, tiny little corner (out of the wind) with a nice brick surface that I could curl up in, and put out my gear, cloaked the trike, put in my earplugs, and went to sleep immediately. Nothing woke me up, that night.