5/30/2015 Alpine to Kent

I was awoken from my sleep by water hitting my face. In the early morning twilight I saw dark bands of clouds racing towards me. Flashing lightning told me the storm was serious. I sprang into action, getting dressed and breaking camp as fast as humanly possible, especially because in the howling winds everything wanted to be torn away.

“I’ve paid my dues in Texas” I complained to the cyling gods, while chasing my blowing tent across Texas carpet in bare feet. SNAP! I jumped two feet in the air, hair prickled, white light and roar of thunder.

The rain never came. I rode off into the howling headwind which quickly transformed into a wonderful sunny cycling day! I can eat headwinds for beakfast with my electric bike, and the long climbs were just amusements.

This is what I was riding through:

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What an inviting picnic area:

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This was next to some adobe ruins. I was shocked to read the last lines, “while the country was being cleared of Indians and bandits” Whoa! I read the date of the monument- 1936.

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The McDonell Observatory.

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I charged up my bike at the observatory, but not a full charge, because my next stop was Kent, which was only 32 miles away. The clerk at the observatory said there were two gas stations there. So I bombed over the mountains.

When I arrived there was only graffiti covered gas pumps and abandoned homes. The I-10 runs right through the town, but I can’t ride on it. The next town was 31 miles away by freeway, and 52 miles away by bicycle, Google Maps explained. Fifty two miles away over rolling hills after a 30 mile ride on a not-full-tank. Problematic.

But I had no other good choice. So I rode to the first turn off the main road. Oh No…. The gate was unlocked, just closed to keep the cows in. I talked to myself: “It will be an adventure. Google wouldn’t steer you wrong. Just hope after 20 miles of this the gate is unlocked at the other end.”

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Along the way.

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And then I found this spring fed cow watering cistern. I know a bathtub when I see one. Refreshed, I continued.

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My bike battery didn’t die, but my cell phone was having trouble accepting a charge and was flashing warnings. Without Google Maps telling me which cow trail to take, I could get very, very lost- if I’m not already. So I made camp. The fly on the bike helps block the ever present wind. What a lovely place to camp. So sight or sound of anything manmade as far as the eye can see in every direction. I love it!

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Let’s see if I get out of here tomorrow!

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