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.