Day 22: Marathon, Texas, to Sanderson, Texas

I told someone about the route we were taking across the U.S. and how we were going to spend about three weeks in Texas, and they said, “I get bored driving across Texas.” Yes, I understand. Today was one of those days where I spent a lot of time talking to myself while pedaling. We rode 55 miles, and were passed by maybe 50 cars, and rode through no towns. At one point, I laid down in the middle of the highway and set up my camera in the eastbound lane to try to take a self-timer shot of myself riding. It didn’t come out, but I’m just saying.

The amazing thing about all this open space is that it’s all ranch land, which means someone owns it. Every foot of that wide-open high desert on both sides of the road had barbed-wire fence separating it from the road, probably more to keep cattle in than to keep people out. That’s 110 miles of fenceposts and barbed wire.

When all you have to do is steer your bike and keep your feet moving, you have a lot of time to let your mind wander about what your girlfriend is doing, what is the meaning of this whole trip, when is your ass going to stop hurting, is it too soon to eat another Snickers bar, and sometimes, what brings a person, or a family, to a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere like Sanderson, Texas? After three weeks of spending almost all of our time in, or in between small towns, I am starting to miss things about my city, Denver — good coffee, all the interesting folks in the grocery store after 10 p.m., hummus, Moe’s Bagels, Little India, all that city stuff I’ve gotten used to — and I wonder how the people here live without it all.

And then we go to get dinner at the Dairy King in Sanderson, pop. 861, and a high school girl waits on us, and a dad and his young son are eating cheeseburgers at the next table, and four people come in just to get ice cream cones, and everybody knows everybody here, and our whole meal costs about 15 bucks, and I remember that I’m from a small town. This small town just happens to be far away from my hometown, and maybe it’s not in the middle of nowhere, but it just feels like it is because it took me five days to get here from El Paso, at 10 mph.

Tomorrow, we’re headed to Langtry, Texas.

If you don't know what this is, here's the web site:

I love the dollar sign. That's right, big buck$, in case you weren't sure if I meant "dollars" or not.

I keep wondering when I'm going to see the last mountain on this trip, and officially cross the line from the West to the East (or the Midwest?).

It's nice to get an unexpected welcome in some of these places!

Check out the difference in wear on my front and rear tires after 1,280 miles. That BOB Trailer really puts the hurt on a rear tire. Either that, or Tubby here needs to lose some weight.


12 responses to “Day 22: Marathon, Texas, to Sanderson, Texas

  1. Awesome post, B! Best yet! Rock on!

  2. ted turner owns it all! keep up the great work–riding and writing (see what i did there? those words SOUND the same, but are spelled differently and mean differnt things. there’s probably a word for it, and you and my brother probably know it. i just take credit for bring it up!).
    did you just say “riding and writing” to yourself to see if they sound the same?

  3. The circle of life;
    well worn tires, a Craigs List bike;
    inward, going out.

  4. Langtry, Texas. It seems that town might have been named by the infamous Judge Roy Bean (The Hanging Judge) after the love of his life, Miss Lilly Langtry. THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN, A movie starring Paul Newman as the judge is a story about his perception of justice. If I remember correctly a man was shot in the saloon/courtroom and after emptying the man’s pockets Judge Bean fined the man the exact amount found in his pockets for getting shot and just plain laying around. A great movie scene. You must check these things out in Langtry. I expect a full report as to how accurate my memory is. It sounds like the ride is like one would expect in Texas.

  5. Posts are amazing, as is the trip across America. Keep up the good work.

    “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong

  6. I am shocked by your tires…

  7. I was just wondering what you might be thinking and missing as you continue your ride and you pretty much covered it in your post today. Isn’t it funny the things we think about when we have nothing else to think about ????

  8. Leonard & Tony,

    Lets get some video going of you two saying some crazy shit while your out there going crzy!

  9. “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

    Probably the only thing I got out of philosophy in college.

    Ride on! It’s good to spend time with your thoughts.

  10. I was at Moe’s this weekend – and Moe’s misses you, too!

    By the way Snarf’s says “hi”.

  11. Aaron & Krista

    I love what you said about small towns……so true. A person tends to forget that when driving 80mph down the interstate by-passing all of it.

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