Today, we woke up in Sanderson, Texas, knowing that there was not much between there and Langtry (or Del Rio, about 120 miles away, for that matter), so we were ready for our usual massive breakfast. Of course, no restaurant was open in the whole town, so we settled for what we could grab from the gas station. The whole day pretty much went like that.
At 20 miles, we stopped in Dryden, where one side of town looks like this:
and the other side looks like this:
Our bikes are in front of the general store, which had about 20 bags of chips, 40 candy bars and 30 sodas. They also had Starbucks Frappucinos. I do not understand America.
A few miles outside of town, we ran into another touring cyclist heading the other way (our third in three consecutive days), and she informed us that if we didn’t get to the town of Langtry by 5:00, we could camp, but we wouldn’t be able to get any water. That was at about 12:30, which gave us 4 1/2 hours to cover 40 miles. Tony put down the hammer and I kept riding as fast as I could, which slowed down when I had to fix my second flat of the day. The tubes I had bought in Alpine were failing right behind the valve, in the same spot, which I’m about 99.9% sure was because they’re just weak in that spot and can’t handle the weight of my bike and BOB trailer.
Then the wind started to pick up, from the east. After my flat, I had about 90 minutes to cover 15 miles, and I was starting to get pretty nervous. 10 mph with my 65-pound trailer up and down rolling desert is a pretty good clip, so I was going to be pushing it to get into town before the water access was gone. And the wind was working double-time against me, jumping up to 20 mph at times. I got angrier than I had in years, to the point where I just wanted to scream. So I did, to no one, in the middle of the Texas desert, some crazy jackass on a bike throwing a fit that no one could see or hear. And the wind didn’t care.
Then I got another flat. Same spot, different tube. I sat on the side of the road and tried to patch the tube in all the spots I thought it would fail, which worked. I rolled into what I thought was Langtry at 4:55 p.m., where a bunch of folks drinking beer outside the roadside store yelled at me that “the tall guy went that way,” to the campground about a mile down the hill, in the town of Langtry, which has a very small population, two small stores and the incredible Judge Roy Bean Museum. So I stopped and got an ice cream cone, in lieu of curling up in the fetal position and crying.
Turns out you can get water in Langtry after 5 p.m. No big deal. Tony had gotten there at about 4 p.m. and eaten four ice cream sandwiches. While checking into the campground, we met Paul and Ann, a fun couple from Owen Sound, just north of Toronto. They were tooling around the Southwest in their small RV, doing some biking and escaping all the snow shoveling they would have had to do back in Owen Sound this time of year.