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TRIP 2017

Update #01 - January 06th
Del Rio, Texas
Mission Trip 71: 2,165.30 miles (3,464.48 km)
Year Total : 214.17 miles (342.67 km)



Dec 27, 2016 : Port Lavaca, TX to Victoria, TX : 30.13 miles (48.21 km)
Trip Total: 1,867.06 miles (2,987.30 km)
Year Total: 8,959.62 miles (14,334.43 km)

I had a good evening at the motel. The room was okay. There was a really strong wifi signal. I went to bed a little before 10 pm. I woke up a little before 5 am and I worked on my Ipod to get some new music on it.

I left the motel room around 7:40 am. From my motel room, it looked like there was some light fog but when I got up to the main highway the fog was really heavy. I probably couldn't see beyond fifty feet. I carefully went down the highway looking for US 87 where I was going to turn Northwards to Victoria.

To wait out the fog, I decided to stop at a McDs for at least a sweet tea. I was getting ready to order my sweet tea, when a black lady worker at the drive-thru window called out that she had a $10 bill from the young white lady in a pick-up truck at the window. The lady in the truck called out that she wanted to buy me breakfast. She might have seen Alice on the side of the McDs as she drove around to the drive thru. I ordered a burrito and a large sweet tea. The lady worker went back to give the lady the change but the lady in the truck told me to keep the change. I checked my email and got on the browser a little bit. I was probably at the McDs about a half hour.

I rode down the highway about mile more to the intersection of TX 35 and US 87. I decided to stop at a gas station to wait the fog out more. I went in to get something to drink and then I went around to the side of the gas station to read one of my paperbacks. As I was finishing up my drink, this lady came up with a large burrito that she had bought in the gas station. I told the lady thank you and I'll save the burrito for later. By 9:40 am, the fog was light enough that I felt more comfortable to head out.

About a ten of a mile down the highway, there was an older Native American man using a cane who was trying to hitch a ride. He told me that he was trying to get to a VA Center. The guy was wearing a white athletic gymn suit but with his complexion and his long black hair he didn't stand out very bright through the fog. I still had the bright green safety vest that I've been carrying since Florida. I stopped to ask the guy if he wanted the vest. He said yes and I helped him put it on. The guy told me that I was God sent. Before I left, I asked the guy if he was hungry. He said yes so I gave him the burrito that I was given. It still felt warm in the aluminum foil. The guy seemed very appreciative.

The ride North went really well. The shoulder was pretty good. There was a bit of a tailwind to push me along. I was able to cruise at an average of 10 mph and a couple of times I got up to 13 mph. Even with the late start out of Port Lavaca, I made 20 miles in by noon.

I got into downtown victoria around 1:20 pm. The office at the ELCA was closed. I rode passed the community christian resource center but it was closed. I stopped at the First Baptist Church but the pastor was out of town for the rest of the week. I did find the minister in at the First Baptist Church. He was actually preparing for a large funeral tomorrow. Because of the funeral, the pastor didn't think that it would be okay for me to stay over night. Instead, he slipped me $20 and gave me directions to a couple of low cost motels. On the way to one of the motels, I stopped at a Church's Chicken for a late lunch. I stopped at the first motel that I came acros. I got a sr discount on the room and the tax was waived. I'll be riding to Cuero tomorrow.



Dec 28, 2016 : Victoria, TX to Cuero, TX : 30.27 miles (48.43 km)
Trip Total: 1,897.33 miles (3,035.73 km)
Year Total: 8,989.29 miles (14,382.86 km)

I had a good evening at the motel. The room was okay. There was a really strong wifi signal. I went to bed a little before 10 pm. I woke up a little before 5 am and I worked on my Ipod to get some new music on it.

I left the motel room around 7:40 am. The temperature was already in the upper 60s. The high this afternoon is supposed to be in the upper 70s close to 80.

From the motel, I rode local roads to get back on US 87. The ride North to Cuero went okay. The shoulder was smooth. Because of the wind, I cruised between 10 and 13 mph.

About 10 miles out of Victoria, I stopped at a gas station for a short break. There were benches in front of the gas station. I got a can of green tea and got out one of my paperback books to read. As I was finishing up my drink, this hispanic guy came up to me to shake my hand. I felt some money in the handshake. I put the money in one of my jersey pockets. We talked for about five minutes and then we left. I pulled out the money and put it into my wallet. I saw a one and a zero so I thought that it was a ten dollar bill. About a mile down the highway, I checked the money again. It was more than $10. It was a new $100 bill.

The rest of the ride into Cuero went okay. I got the first 20 miles in by 10:40 am. I got into the Southern outskirts of Cuero before noon. I stopped at a grocery store to get a few things. I stopped at a McDs for some lunch. After lunch, I stopped at a bank to change the $100 bill into some $20s.

I went around the downtown area to see if I could find anybody at the churches. I stopped at the United Methodist Church. The secretary and the lady pastor were in. I got a voucher from the ministerial association for a motel room and $8 of food from a local Circle-K.

At the motel, I found out that an online donation that I had gotten over last weekend was now in my bank account. I'm glad that I've got the extra money because I might not be able to head out tomorrow. There is supposed to be a cold front coming through the area tonight and tomorrow the temperature is supposed to be twenty degrees cooler and there should be winds coming from the North between 25 and 30 mph..



Dec 29, 2016 : Cuero, TX to Cuero, TX : 00.00 miles (00.00 km)
Trip Total: 1,897.33 miles (3,035.73 km)
Year Total: 8,989.29 miles (14,382.86 km)

I had a good evening at the motel but something strange did happen. Around 10:30 pm, somebody came knocking at my door. Somebody knocked several times but I didn't get out of bed to investigate. I did yell out to tell them to leave.

The weather report for tomorrow wasn't good. A cold front was coming through the area and the temperature is supposed to be twenty degrees colder. The wind was going to be coming from the North with speeds between 25 and 30 mph. I made the decision to use some of the money that I got from the Hispanic guy to get the room for tomorrow.

Because of the day off, I'm looking at only getting to Seuin by the weekend. This will have me riding through San Antonio Monday.



Dec 30, 2016 : Cuero, TX to Gonzales, TX : 36.93 miles (59.09 km)
Trip Total: 1,934.26 miles (3,094.82 km)
Year Total: 9,026.22 miles (14,441.95 km)

I had a good evening at the motel. I didn't have any late night visitors. There wasn't much on television because of the limited channels so I went to bed around 10:40 pm. I slept straight through till 5 am.

It was supposed to be just in the upper 40s in the morning with the high being just in the upper 50s. I put on my thermal underwear and my long sleeve cycling jersey.

I got on the road a little before 8 am. The ride North to Gonzales went okay. The shoulder was pretty smooth all of the way. There was a section of rolling hills for about ten miles and then it leveled out about eight miles out of Gonzales. There were a lot of oil wells and active pumping in the area. By noon, I got a little over 28 miles in.

I got into Gonzales around 12:20 pm. I had to ride clear through town to find a grocery store so I could buy a few things. I stopped at a McDs for a lunch. The service was really bad. I had to wait almost 20 minutes just to get a cheesburger and a small fries. After lunch, I rode back into the downtown area to see if I could spot somebody at one of the local churches. There was nobody at the Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian churches. I rode around the downtown area some more to see if I could find the police station but I couldn't find that either. On my second pass around the churches, I spotted two other churches steeples a couple of blocks to the South. There was nobody at the Episcopal Church. Next to that church was the Catholic. There were lights in the office. The priest was in with his secretary. The priest was friendly. He didn't have any problem with me staying in a conference room off of the garage. There was carpeting, a small kitchenette, bathroom, and heat. I also found out that there was wifi available. The priest told me that he had allowed other people to stay there for the night.

I'll be heading to Seguin tomorrow. There is a WS member in town and he owns one of the local bike shops. It might be a wet day tomorrow.



Dec 31, 2016 : Gonzales, TX to Seguin, TX : 16.97 miles (27.15 km)
Trip Total: 1,951.23 miles (3,094.82 km)
Year Total: 9,043.19 miles (14,469.10 km)

I had a good evening in the conference room of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The room was warm enough that I slept through the night. There was wifi access. I woke up around 6 am. I left the church property around 7:20 am. It was lightly raining. I rode to ALT US 90 and stopped at a McDs for some breakfast. I waited outside for about 20 minutes to let the rain lesson up some.

Traffic was light on ALT US 90. About 8 miles down the highway, this guy in a small red car flagged me over. I wasn't really sure what to think because the guy had a large tattoo on his neck and more tattoos were visible on his arms. The guy's name was Joshua and he asked me if I wanted a ride. Because of the rain and I wasn't sure how the shoulder was going to be for the remaining 26 miles into Seguin, I accepted.

We had to use one of my bungees to fasten down the trunk lid. The ride was okay. We had a good talk. Joshua told me that during the last three years he's been trying to make it right with God. He told me that our meeting was a divine appointment. Joshua told me that he was still having problems with taking crack. I told Joshua to turn it all to Christ. Joshua dropped me off at a gas station about two miles East of the downtown area. Before Joshua left, he surprised me by slipping me a small GH.

I stopped at a HEB to get some groceries. From the grocery store, I rode into the downtwon area. I was hoping to locate the bike shop that the WS member owned. I called him up. I was given directions. I got a little turned around and I went way out of my way. It was kind of strange to see that the bike shop was just a couple of blocks North of where I had been left off. jim had a big doberman named Fritz who was almost three years old. I was in the shop for about an hour. Jim gave me directions to his house on the West side of town. He told me that he wouldn't be home till around 5 pm and he wouldn't be around much. He told me that I would be camping out in the backyard.

I wasn't sure about this because I didn't know if I was going to have access to a bathroom at night and if the rain was going to come back during the night. I stopped at a McDs for some lunch. Before going in to eat, I took off my jacket and long-sleeve cycling jersey.

From the McDs, I rode back into the downtown area. I rode around the downtown area to see if I could find the police station. I wanted to see if there was a department chaplain or if somebody knew if there was a ministerial association. It took a little over an hour finding the police station. I had to ask for directions.

At the police station, I met a very friendly corporal. The corporal helped me get a motel room through a Salvation Army voucher. i learned that he was getting ready to retire in April after 34 years on the force. Before I left the police station, I was surprised at the corporal slipping me $20 in a GH.



Jan 01, 2017 : Seguin, TX to Seguin, TX : 02.37 miles (03.79 km)
Trip Total: 1,953.60 miles (3,125.76 km)
Year Total: 02.37 miles (03.79 km)

I had sort of a good evening at the motel. The room was windowless. There was no bedside light. There was a flatscreen tv on the wall but no wifi.

I woke up around 6 am. I left the motel around 8:20 a.m. I rode to the First Baptist Church. They were finishing up their 8:30 am service. I met one of the assistant pastors after the service started. He took me upstairs to one of the Sunday school classes. The class was okay. I got to share so I'm counting this as my first church of the year. The teacher of the class was really good. I found out that he was a Jewish believer like me. He was originally from New York City and had accepted thirty years ago.

The second service was traditional. There was good organ music. I got introduced to the congregation. After the service, I found a $5 bill in my helmet. I met up with the assistant pastor and he took me to a local motel and got me a room for night. The church is pretty active with doing homeless ministries.



Jan 02, 2017 : Seguin, TX to Leon Valley (W San Antonio), TX : 54.17 miles (86.67 km)
Trip Total: 2,007.77 miles (3,212.43 km)
Year Total: 56.64 miles (90.46 km)

I had a good afternoon and evening at the motel. I got caught up on my sleep.

I left the motel around 7:40 am. I rode back through town to get back on ALT US 90. I followed it about 5 miles before I could get on the frontage road along I-10. The ride west went okay. I got a little over 21 miles by noon.

I stopped at a Churchs Chicken for some lunch. I ordered a 3 piece chicken tender strip meal but I was given 5 pieces.

The afternoon ride went okay into San Antonio went okay. It was a little tricky finding the right route into downtown San Antonio. I found a bike path that took me across a old railroad bridge. Saw a disturbing sight on the bridge. There was a homeless guy with a dog but he had a boy with him that must have been around 12 years old. I was going to try and help them with food but they were too close to two other homeless people and I didn't have enough extra food for everybody. The boy had a really blank look on his face. I couldn't see the face of the guy because his head was down on his knees. Between the bridge and the area around the Alamo, there were lots of homeless people with filled shopping carts.

I took some pictures of the Alamo. While I was in the park in front of the Alamo, I tried to connect with a WS member but I couldn't. I decided to head out and get on the route along US 90. Finding the right route was really hard because there was np pne access (frontage0 road. I got lost a couple of times. I stopped for some groceries and some batteries. The HEB that I stopped at was quite interesting. The store was actually on the second floor with a parking garage underneath it. You accessed the store by either elevator or a travalator (moving sidewalk / walkway) that was at about a 33 degree angle.

Around 8 pm, I was finally out in some rural area that had some woods. Found a place to camp out.



Jan 03, 2017 : Leon Valley (W San Antonio), TX to Hondo, TX : 35.19 miles (56.30 km)
Trip Total: 2,042.93 miles (3,268,74 km)
Year Total: 91.83 miles (146.23 km)

I had a good evening in my tent even though I was very close to a busy highway with a lot of traffic noise. I was able to sleep quite a bit. I woke up around 6 am.

I got back on the road around 7:40 am. I rode down the highway about 1.5 mile and stopped at a McDs for a working breakfast. I was back on the road about 9:10 am. There was some road construction to deal with. Once I got on US 90, the ride went really well to Castroville. The highway was pretty level through the Medina Valley and the shoulder was smooth.

I got into Castroville a little before noon. I stopped at a McDs for a working lunch. There was a long climb out of the Medina Valley. Between Castroville and Hondo, there were rolling hills.

I got into Hondo around 3:30 pm. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. The pastor offered to meet me at a local motel and got me a room. Before the pastor left the motel, he slipped me two Walmart gift cards worth $10 each.

I'll be riding to Uvalde tomorrow. The temperature is going to be thirty degrees colder tomorrow.



Jan 04, 2017 : Hondo, TX to Uvalde, TX : 46.39 miles (74.22 km)
Trip Total: 2,089.35 miles (3,342.96 km)
Year Total: 138.22 miles (221.15 km)

I had a good evening at the motel. There was no breakfast provided so I got something out of my food pannier. The temperature was in the low 40s so I layered up.

I got on the road around 7:30 am. The ride West went okay. I stopped for an early lunch at a Subway in Sabinal. Even with the early lunch, I got around 23.5 miles by noon.

The afternoon ride went okay. There were a couple of sections of rough shoulder (chipsealing). About eight miles out of Uvalde, the shoulder became a lot smoother.

I got into Uvalde around 2:45 pm. I stopped at a McDs for a short break. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. There was an offer to get me a room at a local motel through the ministerial association. I didn't have to go to a law enforcement center for a background check and a signature before going to the motel.

I got a 40 mile ride to Brackettville tomorrow. I'm 71 miles away from Del Rio.



Jan 05, 2017 : Uvalde, TX to Brackettville, TX : 42.79 miles (68.46 km)
Trip Total: 2,134.14 miles (3,411.12 km)
Year Total: 181.01 miles (289.62 km)

I had a good evening at the motel. I went to bed around 10 pm. I slept straight thru the night till around 5:30 am.

I left the motel around 7:30 am. The ride West on US 90 went okay. The shoulder was smooth till I got into Kinney County and then I had to deal with chipsealing.

About 13 miles out of Uvalde, I got a unique donation off the road. I spotted a blue tennis shoe in the grass on the side of the road. About six feet down the road, I spotted the other tennis shoe. I stopped Alice near the second tennis shoe to investigate. The tennis shoes were Nike and they looked pretty good. What was so surprising about the shoes was that they were my size. I fastened my old tennis shoes to the back of the bike.

By noon, I had ridden about 25 miles. I stopped alongside the road and got some lunch out of my food pannier. The afternoon ride went okay. It got warm enough that I was able to take off my jacket but left my long sleeve cycling jersey on.

I got into Brackettville around 3:10 pm. I was able to connect with somebody at the First United Methodist Church and got permission to stay in the fellowship hall for the night.



Jan 06, 2017 : Brackettville, TX to Del Rio, TX : 33.16 miles (53.06 km)
Trip Total: 2,165.30 miles (3,464.48 km)
Year Total: 214.17 miles (342.67 km)

I had a good evening in the fellowship hall of the Methodist church in Brackettville. The pastor gave me permission to eat anything that was in the kitchen. I was given the password to the wifi network. I stretced out my sleeping bag on top of a pile of folded-up tables. The heat kept the fellowship hall warm.

I layered up before heading out. I got on the road around 7:40 am. It was really cold. The temperature must have been close to freezing.

Before leaving town, I stopped at a gas station for some hot chocolate. The ride West was really slow because of the rolling hills and the chip sealing. Because of the chip sealing, I only got 21 miles in by noon.

Once I got out of Kinney County, the shoulder became much improved. I got into Del Rio around 1 pm. I stopped at a McDs for a late lunch.

After lunch, I rode into the downtown area to check out the churches. I found the secretary in at the First United Methodist Church. The pastor wasn't in but the secretary was able to contact him. No real help from the church. I started calling my friends. A friend of mine in MS offered to get me a room at one of the local motels in town.

There is going to be a hard freeze tonight. The wind chill factor is going to be in the low 20s.



The next update will be posted between January 13th and January 20th.




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