5/27/2015 Bracketville to Langtry


Have you ever met a 60 year old man who has never been inside a bar except to shoot a movie? That was me, until today. I saw a touring bike with a solar panel draped over it’s trailer and had to meet the owner. I walked into the only habitable building in town. Cowboys were shooting pool while the building sighed and sagged.

I knew my man right away. You can always pick the one who doesn’t quite fit in, and now there were two of us. I introduced myself to Adam and sat beside him at the bar. A pretty girl walked up and asked me what I’d like. I said “Orange juice?”…….. She said “OK” patiently, and went in back- “Mike, do we have any Orange Juice? No? Any juice at all? No? Ok” She returned, “Sorry, we’re all out of juice.”

“Ok”, I said, “then I’ll have a ummmm, a ummmm, a Beer!” I was proud of myself for thinking of that. Then she said, “OK, what kind?” I hit a brick wall. I didn’t know any beer names except “Bud”, and I am too special to order a “Bud.” I was about to say Schlitz when Adam volunteered “He’ll have one of these lagers” “Yeah” I chimed in. Phew, that was scary. “What’s a lager?”

Know what? It was good, really good! And you know what else? I think I’ll drink more lager-no sugar rush, and it does quench the thirst.

Adam turned out to be a reality TV editor working and writing his way around the US. We had much in common. We talked excitedly for an hour, then he shot a video about my bike. Thanks Adam, it was fun.

At last I am riding in desert, though with all the rains and flooding the desert is green and blooming. It really is lovely.

Desert Sage in bloom.
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Crossing the Pecos river.

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In Langtry is the original home and bar/courtroom of Judge Roy Bean, in it’s original location! “Judge Roy Bean was the law west of the Pecos” my father, who was an attorney, used to tell me, “and he would dispense liquor and justice at the same time”

It was connecting to be able to see this place of legal legend that gave my father so many stories to tell and so much pleasure telling them.
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The Bar and Bench.

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Langtry itself is filled with decay. I camp behind the community center, take a water bottle shower, and walk the streets. Kneeling houses surrender to gravity. Twisted tin roofs moan in the wind. Adobe bricks rejoin stones and soil. A well kept yard has a sign “Trespassers will be shot on sight. Any survivors will be shot again.”

The wind howls. I must stay in my tent to keep it from blowing away. But, no mosquito bites!

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