Trip Summary

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Day 20: Marathon, Texas

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.  It was a difficult 45 mile ride today, with twelve additional easy, very pleasurable miles.  Such a hard day due to the head winds that we did not take any photographs,but added a few from the prior days.

In addition to the strong winds, the temperature was cold.  Jeff headed out this morning with foot covers, balaclava, hoodie, rain jacket, rain pants, leg warmers, arm warmers, scuba gloves in addition to the usual attire.

Lisa was being pushed sideways by passing trucks and/or gusting crosswinds.  Literally was riding with the carbon fiber bike leaning sideways into the wind, then the wind would let up or a truck would pass and had to recover without hitting the ditch or being blown into a fellow rider.  So cold even with 2 pair of wool socks on that the toes were numb after 22 miles to the first SAG, and hands were stiff just from hanging on tightly trying to keep our bikes upright.  Otherwise, we seemed to be dressed appropriately and thank goodness there was no rain.  The treat in Alpine, TX, was a great coffee shop with baked goods and just getting warm and watching other riders come in just shaking their heads, and we all understood.

After 40 miles the sun appeared for the first time and we traded in the head wind for a tailwind for the next 12 miles.  We were flying with very little pedaling even.  We were traveling faster uphill in the afternoon than we did on the downhills in the morning.  That is no exaggeration.  The last five miles we changed direction and slowed as we dealt with another strong cross wind; however, it did not dampen our mood.

Camp tonight is back in our tents that we have not seen for about 8 nights.  The staff gets the pleasure of having indoor bungalow-type rooms, and they are nice enough to share their showers and bathrooms with us until 9 PM tonight.  I met the owners' handsome black Labrador named Gunner and a rescue Chihuahua mix named Markita.  Love getting my canine fix for the day--however, our camp dog Cocoa Bean ("Beaner") is always happy to see us and makes me smile every time I see her little tail start to wiggle!  Tomorrow is a layover day and the annual trip to Big Bend National Park.

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