We woke up at 6 a.m. to an inch of wet snow on the ground, and decided a short day was in order, since on Wednesday the weather here is due to return back to normal. The motel owner gave us a ride to the breakfast restaurant in Sierra Blanca, as well as a couple who had stayed at the motel last night. After breakfast, I found out the couple had flipped their car on the interstate near Sierra Blanca last night. That snapped me out of my I Can’t Believe It’s Snowing And Why Are We Getting So Many Flat Tires funk. Then I told them the story about my dad rolling his truck a few years ago, and getting pelted by about 25 golf balls that were in the back seat as he rolled 1 1/2 times.
We waited until noon and took off for a 33-mile ride to Van Horn, and Tony still got two flats, both on the back tire this time. We’re hoping our supply of two patches and one spare, virgin tube holds us 100 miles to Alpine, Texas, where Tony can get new tires and we can restock our supply of tubes and patches. (Anyone ever used a tire boot for a patch before?)
In the lobby of the hotel this afternoon, I met a Japanese cyclist who’s riding from Los Angeles to New York, and this is the one spot our paths cross. His English was not so great (about one million times better than my Japanese), but we had a great chat for a few minutes. He seemed to have about as much of an idea of why he’s bicycling across America as I do, but said one of the things was that he wanted to see America. I showed him a few of our photos, and he laughed at the one of me next to the Billy The Kid sign. He’s headed to Pecos, Texas, tomorrow, so we won’t be riding together. Tony and I are heading to Marfa, Texas, off the Adventure Cycling route, in case we are marooned with a tire problem. The owner of the Bikeman shop in Alpine suggested the route, which will cut off a bunch of climbing, and a few miles.