Day 17: Las Cruces, NM, to El Paso, Texas

Today started with a ride through the Sunday morning quiet of the village of La Mesilla, and then on roads under canopies of pecan trees, over a low mountain pass, and then about 20 miles on the chaotic freeway, the 375 Loop outside of El Paso. It was full-value bike touring.

Also, Tony got three flats, which always puts a smile on your face as a cyclist.

La Mesilla is the town where Billy the Kid was tried and hanged (correction: sentenced to hang) in 1881, an event not accurately covered in the Young Guns movies. My dad would have killed me if I didn’t stop and see it.

We spent the rest of our morning pedaling past pecan farms, stopping to watch a worker use a tree shaker to get the pecans out of trees. Then we climbed up and through Anthony Gap and on into Texas, north of El Paso. The last 20 miles of the route took us on the 375 Loop, which was great until the last 8 miles, where traffic picked up and we had to cross several on- and off-ramps, and Tony got two flats.

We ended the day in the very east edge of El Paso. We estimate we’ll spend three weeks or more crossing the rest of Texas, and it looks like the next week will take us through some of the most desolate areas of our route. We’ll see if Verizon’s coverage is good enough for us to update the blog the rest of this week. We’re shooting for Sierra Blanca tomorrow.

La Mesilla, NM.

This job must relieve a lot of stress. We were standing about 100 feet away from this guy, and you could feel the ground shaking under your feet every time he grabbed a pecan tree and shook it.

The Rio Grande just west of the Franklin Mountains.

My first few seconds ever in Texas. So far, so good.

Tony's photo of the Hueco Mountains outside El Paso.

We also crossed the entire Fort Bliss Military Reservation on the freeway today. I like their sign.

-Brendan

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6 responses to “Day 17: Las Cruces, NM, to El Paso, Texas

  1. Thank God you aren’t pedaling through Texas in July.

  2. Love the third shot framed by pecan trees.

  3. So – I’m thinking all the photos of “Welcome to…” & “You are now leaviing…” will make a great wall photo collage when you get home. Kinda like my Colfax & Lake Erie Motels.

  4. Rock on, guyz!!!!

  5. I’m looking at a map of West Texas. I’ve found Sierra Blanca, but it appears that I-10 is the only way there from El Paso. Or are you riding east and then south on 1111? Inquiring minds would like a route map. Tony: Armadillo tires! They really work. Good ridin’, guys!

  6. Hi,
    In the interests of historical accuracy, Billy the Kid, although sentenced to hang in Mesilla, managed to escape from the jail there and met his fate at the hands of Sheriff Pat Garrett by gunfire in a darkened bedroom in Lincoln County, NM. At least one person, known as Brushy Bill Roberts who died in Hico, Texas in 1950 claimed to be William Bonney, having survived the ambush. The autopsy revealed no bullet wounds.

    survived the

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