Trip Summary

Day 52: 2929 miles completed, 8 states, 7 flat tires, 4 flat mattresses, 40 new friends and Bruce #1, 8 rest days

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day 19: Marfa, Texas

Seventy-five scheduled miles from Van Horn to Marfa, on highway 90.  Great weather conditions: no rain, comfortable temperature, and favorable winds.  The only complaint was the road conditions from Valentine (mile 40) to Marfa - very rough.

There is the famous Prada shop, just about 1 mile from Valentine, which contains only left shoes and some hand bags from the 2005 Prada collection and nothing but miles of nothing all around it. You have to see it (or Google it) to find out the whole story.

Lunch was one of our favorite spots of the C2C.  We stop in tiny Valentine, TX, at their library, where the high school travel club prepares and sells a variety of burritos, homemade brownies (with white chocolate and caramel) and cold sodas.  The funds go toward sending their seniors on a trip of their choice.  The entire school body from K-12 totals 37 students.  Kids travel from many miles around to go to school in Valentine, and they have even had to have their entire student body (including girls) participate on the basketball team in order to field a full squad.  They are all amazingly poised and polite, and we always love talking to them.  The girls at lunch have aspirations to travel to Greece, Australia, and France.  As long as they have more than 1 student who wants to travel to a region, and they have the money in the travel club, they can make this trip.  We found a nice piece of lawn to relax and eat our lunch, albeit artificial.

As we approached Marfa, there were a few groups riding in within a half mile of each other.  One mile out of town a police officer turned on the lights of the squad car and pulled the whole lot of us over to explain the rules for riding a bicycle in Texas.  According to him, we needed to ride on the right side of the white line, essentially on the shoulder. Although he is mistaken, that is not the law, we were all polite and complied.  This is generally not a problem, when the road/shoulder are ride-able we will use it.  However, in this situation the road itself was barely ride-able and the shoulder was in even worse condition.  This officer continued to harass the rest of our group throughout the day.  Bubba will be speaking with his supervisor tomorrow because the same behavior occurred last year.

Texas Law states that cyclist must ride to the ride of the roadway, which ends at the white line or curb.  Texas law also states that bicyclists can ride two abreast as long as they do not impede traffic.

We are not staying at El Cosmico campground this year with it's interesting accommodations and outdoor showers, but also perhaps the most beautiful nighttime sky you could ever hope to see.  Even though our accommodations are much more hospitable at the Marfa Activity Center, everyone should have the opportunity to experience an open air shower once. 

One of my nieces, Jen, happened to visit there last year, and interestingly, she said the same thing.  It is just a beautiful, vast sky filled with stars ... and perhaps if you are lucky, you will see the famous Marfa Lights--still a mystery to scientists to figure out what they are exactly. The latest research is something meteorological or geological or a combination of both.  We missed out on the field trip last year to try to view these mysterious orbs, so we are going tonight to view these hopefully.

Anyway, enough about Marfa, but it is one of the most interesting places on our trip--though to any observers, it appears as a place with not much to offer if you are looking for commercial enterprises.

UK Update: Enjoying a leisurely lunch in Valentine, Texas.  Later, Graham was mistakenly (rudely) instructed that he needed to ride on the shoulder of the road by the local officer of the law.  He was one of many to experience the wrath of misinformed deputy.

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