Texas is big
The hot tub last night at El Cosmico was divine. It was wood fired and the perfect temperature. It was so nice I stayed up much later than I probably should have…
That was last night…
While I was sleeping, the temperature dropped 50 degrees. By 3am a wind came up that was slapping the rain fly on the tent so loudly it was difficult to sleep. When I finally crawled out of the tent at 7am, it was 36 degrees and a very cold wind was blowing out of the North. I was told later in the day that up in the Pan Handle the temperature had dropped to 28 degrees and the winds were 60mph. I estimated in Marfa a more or less steady 20mph with gusts up to 35mph. I started the day cold before even getting on the bike. I was experiencing what Texans call a “Blue Norther.”
I made the first 20 miles of the day’s 60, but it was a struggle. I was barely making headway and had been blown off the shoulder of the road four times. I had just been blown off again, and was calculating the odds of getting back on the bike and making it 100 yards before another gust blew me off the road, when a pickup truck pulled over. Out jumped one of my tour companions. I knew instantly I was getting a ride. The thought of turning down the offer didn’t even enter my head. Rick threw the bike in the back of his new Ford F-150 and we covered the next 10 miles to the town of Alpine in comfort.
Things seemed a bit calmer in Alpine. We still had 30 miles to go before reaching our destination for the day. Fortunately the wind was less harsh here. We were actually on the other side of a small range of mountains that separates Marfa from Alpine. I was able to make the next 30 miles at something like a normal pace, but I was cold as hell. Once you get chilled on the bike, it’s game over until you get off the bike.
The RV park where we are staying has an outdoor plaza with a covered patio and large stone fireplace. We’ve eaten and had our map meeting and I’m sitting in front of a nice fire, feeling almost human again.
We get to do it all over again tomorrow…
Possibly the coldest day I have experienced on a bike.