Lots of people have told me that what I would remember about this trip is the people we meet. Well, we had a blast today, a few miles out of Van Horn, starting with, “Are those bikes behind us?” and a few minutes later meeting Bruce and Dana, then playing leapfrog with them and chatting with them at our rest stops all the way to Marfa, Texas this afternoon.
Bruce and Dana are retired teachers from Tacoma, and are taking on the Southern Tier, except they started in Huntington Beach, California, then rode to San Diego. At some point today we were talking about why we were doing the ride, and Bruce said something about how they thought, “Well, how good could life be?” and decided to do the ride. They have a pair of sweet new Surly Long Haul Truckers with panniers, and ride just a little faster than this 31-year-old. Get busy living or get busy dying — right on, guys. (And thanks for the extra patches!)
Today was probably the most desolate country we’ve ridden through, literally 75 miles between places you could buy something or fill up a water bottle. The midway point on the ride was Valentine, a town that used to have a gas station and a cafe, and now just has a post office.
And it was flaaaaat, and a straight line the whole day. I got out the video camera and tried to see how long I could record Tony riding until he disappeared, and it took 5 1/2 minutes.
We’re in Marfa, Texas, tonight, a small arts community where Giant was filmed in 1955. Apparently nobody but me has seen Giant, but it starred James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor, and was James Dean’s last film, released after his death. The hotel where we’re staying was the headquarters for the film. Tomorrow, we head to Marathon, Texas, with a stop in Alpine to get tires, patches and tubes for the rest of the trip.