March 24 - April 12: Texas

3/30 - Sanderson (54 miles 1120 total)
54 miles from the gage hotel in marathon to the historic outback hotel & bunkhouse in sanderson, TX ("cactus capital of texas" according to the sign at town's edge)
michelle cooked us a delicious breakfast---shredded potato patties & an egg dish with green chilis in it. we could also have cold cereals; michelle stocks the good ones (granola, raisin bran). breakfast was at 8:30---a leisurely start to a leisurely day.
i'd had no luck finding a phone jack that i could use at the hotel nor at a nearby internet cafe, but stopped by the bookstore after breakfast & the kind woman there said "sure" when i asked if i could use one of her phone lines for a while. so the reports & photos for 3-28 & 3-29 went off to mark. i was glad not to have to get any further behind.
here's a photo of joan & me at the book store...front street books (with shops in alpine & marathon). you'll notice that joan has her bike with her in the photo. (you'll also notice my ibook sitting on the table under the painting behind her right arm.)
she told me that she'd been inspired by the womantours groups she's seen come through town the past few years. last year, after the group went thru town again, she & 3 friends--all over 50--formed the "marathon pedal-pushers" bike club. they do short rides every day, weather permitting. maybe some day she'll join a womantours ride.
sari & i left town around 10. the weather all day was absolutely beautiful---sunny, breezy (mostly tailwinds), 60's. we traveled on state hwy 90 all day; traffic was almost nonexistent.
here's a photo of sari & catherine, who was riding today (michelle was driving the van). catherine had left marathon almost an hour later than we did, but she had no trouble catching--& passing--us on the road. in the background you see today's typical landscape, tho' in this photo there are some buildings. we didn't see many of those.
at about 30 mi we came upon a fellow down amongst the cacti with a professional camera. i figured he must have a line on a good photo, so stopped & took this picture of the landscape & cacti, with the photographer at left.
a fellow who was traveling with him came over to talk to us. he explained that the photographer, david rittimann, was taking texas landscape photos for peter holt, owner of the san antonio spurs; the photos will hang in the spurs' training room. a little later we chatted with rittimann for a few minutes; he said that some of his photography is in galleries in estes park, CO.
traveling with rittimann was karl gager; what a nice fellow! he was very interested in this x-country tour, so we explained how it works & our purpose. he introduced us to his wife stephanie. they own "the main perc" & "the personal touch" in uvalde, TX. we had hoped we'd be able to go through uvalde so we could visit their stores; karl & stephanie also said they would arrange for the local press to cover our visit. but unfortunately, uvalde isn't on our route. we still hope to figure out a way to visit from a stopover down nearby.
sari & i love trains, so have been pleased to see so many in this neck of the woods. today, the one in this photo came by in mid-afternoon. the whole train was devoted to carrying what looked like some very high-tech eqipment of some sort. do you recognize what this is? we couldn't figure it out.
as usual, frances drove backwards on the route & stopped to check on us, which we really appreciate, because we can always use water. by about 3:30, we finally coasted down to sanderson.
sanderson isn't so easy to see in this photo...way down at the base of those hills in the middle of the photo, but it was the only sign of civilization we'd seen since leaving marathon this morning.
the kind proprietor of the outback bunkhouse motel let us use his washers & dryers, so we put together our wash & did a load. washing hasn't been easy to do for quite a while, so it was a real treat to get a bunch done. i was wondering how long i could keep putting on some of those biking togs without washing them (thank goodness for the great out of doors).
for supper michelle fixed a wonderful curried vegetable/tofu dish, served over rice, with a salad of cut-up fresh fruit & some of the homemade bread from the "bread & breakfast" cafe we visited yesterday, which we could spread with a roasted red pepper hummus (i love that stuff). some enjoyed the chocolate cake for dessert, but i was on my 2nd helping of curry by then.
when we were through eating, frances made the evening sock mary (from boston) libbey. today was mary's personal-best biking day....54 miles, the longest she's ever ridden in a day. today the socks' acronym means, "Boy, Is This Chick Happy!" carolyn also presented mary the energizer bunny she'd been awarded after her windy-day ride to ft. davis. here's mary relaxing in a rocking chair, enjoying her well-earned awards.
after supper, michelle told us what we already knew---tomorrow's route is 110.5 miles. she even suggested that we take an extra 2-mile spin into langtry for lunch. (sure, easy for HER to add 2 miles onto a 110.5-mile day!) we'll have breakfast at 6, then hopefully be ready to set out as soon as it's light enough to be safe on the road. it'll be a lonnnnnnng day to amistad! but since there's no town between here & there, we don't really have a choice.
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail me with your request, and I'll save your note and get back to you after the ride. Stay tuned....

This page, and all linked pages, were created on a 466MHz Apple iBook SE running Mac OS X 10.2.4, BBEdit Lite 6.1, and Safari.