TRIP 2017

Update #02 - January 15th
Sanderson, Texas
Mission Trip 71: 2,307.71 miles (3,692.34 km)
Year Total : 356.48 miles (570.36 km)

Jan 07, 2017 : Del Rio, TX to Del Rio, TX : 03.77 miles (06.03 km)
Trip Total: 2,169.07 miles (3,470.51 km)
Year Total: 217.94 miles (348.70 km)

I had a good night at the Best Western. The room was pretty good. I was able to get some good sleep. There was a pretty good hot breakfast.

I headed out around 8:20 am. It was really cold. The temperature was in the low 30s. I was getting torn on whether I should keep on going to Comstock or find some place to stay for the day. Comstock was too small of a town that I didn't know if there were any churches. I decided to use some of my emergency money to get a motel room. I stopped at the Motel 6. There wasn't any clean rooms available on the first floor but I got a room near the top of the stairs. I'll contact my pastor friend in New York to see if he could send me some money.

Jan 08, 2017 : Del Rio, TX to Del Rio, TX : 01.97 miles (03.15 km)
Trip Total: 2,171.04 miles (3,473.66 km)
Year Total: 219.81 miles (351.70 km)

had a good night at the Motel 6. The room was pretty good. I was able to get some good sleep. There wasn't any breakfast provided. Instead of making many trips up and down the flight of stairs, I tossed most of my gear over the railing. Because of this, I only had to make two trips up and down the stairs.

I left the motel around 8:30 a.m. It was a short ride to the First Baptist Church. I got there when there were just a few people there. I spent most of an hour in the sanctuary listening to the praise band practice. I went to a men's Sunday school class. There were just two other people there. After a couple of minutes of my sharing what I was doing, I was pretty well ignored. After having the guy leading the class not look at me for nearly fourty minutes, I just got up and excused myself out of the room. It was getting close to when the service was going to start anyway and I needed to find a restroom.

Being that this was a city of over 30,000, there were very few people assembled in the sanctuary for the service. The back half of the pews were cordoned off with ropes. According to the bulletin, I learned that there was just an interim pastor. This wasn't what I had found out by looking at the church website. Not too many people came up to talk to me before the service. I was getting ready to leave. The clincher for me was when the sanctuary lights were dimmed and colored lights went on the stage. I just didn't want to take part in another stage show service. At least, there was no drummer even though there was a drumset front and center.

From the Baptist Church, it was a short ride to the Presbyterian Church. The congregation was smaller there than the Baptist Church. There was possibly a little over a dozen people present with most of them being elderly ladies. During the prayer portion of the service, I got to share. After the service, I got GH's from two people. I almost got what I paid for the rooom yesterday back. I helped with taking down the Christmas decorations in the sanctuary. The guy who was leading the service gave me permission to stay in the parlor for the night.

Jan 09, 2017 : Del Rio, TX to Comstock, TX : 33.97 miles (54.35 km)
Trip Total: 2,205.01 miles (3,528.02 km)
Year Total: 253.78 miles (406.05 km)

I had a good afternoon and night in the parlor of the First Presbyterian Church. Having the heat turned off didn't really effect the room temperature much. When I closed the door, the room actually got a little warmer. There were four large windows without curtains in the room that were on the Western wall. Even with the windows being tinted, they allowed the radiant heat to come through the glass and warm up the stucco tiles in the floor. I didn't need to get out my sleeping bag. I used my large beach towel as a blanket and I found a pillow in another room. The pastor had showed me the kitchen and I was given permission to use the food. I made myself a hamburger for supper. I spent most of the day and evening watching movies on my laptop.

It was around 7:40 am when I left the church. The temperature was a bit warmer than yesterday morning. I learned that it was actually eleven degrees warmer. I stopped at a HEB to get a few groceries because I didn't think that I would come across another grocery store until I got to Sanderson which was 102 miles away. From the HEB, I stopped at a McDs to get a hot breakfast. On the way out of Del Rio, I stopped at a Walmart to get a few more groceries using the remaining funds on the two gift cards that the pastor at the Methodist church in Hondo had given me last week.

It was actually around 9:40 am when I left the Del Rio City limits. The ride to Comstock went okay. There were some rolling hills to deal with through the Amistad National Recreation Area. There was a long bridge to cross over the Amistad dam. Because of the late start and the hills, I only got a little over 19 miles in by noon.

The afternoon ride went okay. I did stop alongside the road to stabilize the steering column better with a zip-tie and electrical tape. It also got warm enough that I was able to take off and put away my hoodie. I did keep on my long-sleeve cycling jersey and jacket but I did store away my wool helmet cap and extra long fingered gloves.

About five miles out of Comstock, I had to go through an immigration station. I didn't have to show anybody my FL state id card. I talked for a few minutes with the officer who had the drug sniffing dog. We talked about recumbents. The other patrolman just waved me through.

I got into Comstock around 3:30 pm. I was able to connect with the pastor of the local Baptist Church. He gave me permission to stay inside the church for the night. I also met up with a very friendly deputy sheriff. Officer Canvitos of the Val Verde Sheriff department. We talked for about fifteen minutes. It was another divine appointment. Officer Canvitos wanted to talk with somebody because he had a small problem with alcohol but he has been clean and sober for the past two weeks. He told me that he had slidden away from going to church but he was planning to go back to his old church in Del Rio. Before we parted company, Officer Canvitos gave me a hug and the money that he had in his wallet.

From talking with the pastor of the Baptist Church in Comstock, I learned the reason why there was no sr pastor at the FBC in Del Rio. There was two or three deacons that felt that they were in control of the church. The sr pastor had quit and formed a new church (a community church) and it is supposed to be flourishing.

I've got a WS contact in Langtry tomorrow. A member is supposed to have some property with a building or two where they allow cyclists to stay. There are WS members in Marathon, Alpine, San Elizario, and El Paso to look forward to.

Jan 10, 2017 : Comstock, TX to Landry, TX : 28.97 miles (46.35 km)
Trip Total: 2,233.98 miles (3,574.37 km)
Year Total: 282.75 miles (452.40 km)

I had a good night camping out in the fellowship hall of the Comstock Baptist Church. I was able to get the room blocked off so I could get the heat on. I tried making a pallet out of some pew cushions but they kept on seperating so I landed on the floor.

I left the church around 7:40 am. There were quite a few hills. I only got about 19 miles in by noon. I stopped alongside the highway for some lunch.

I got into Langtry about 2:30 pm. There wasn't much in town. There was a TX State visitor center with a museum for Judge Roy Bean. The WS trailor didn't have electricity or water. I got permission to camp out next to the old school, which is now the community center.

Jan 11, 2017 : Langtry, TX to Dryden, TX : 40.57 miles (64.91 km)
Trip Total: 2,274.55 miles (3,639.28 km)
Year Total: 323.72 miles (517.31 km)

I had a good night camping out behind the community center. Being that there were no street lights in town, I was pretty surprised that the night didn't get that dark. It did get cool enough that I got into my sleeping bag. I woke up around 6:30 am. It was cool but I didn't get out my hoodie.

From the community center, it was about a mile ride to the trading post/ gas station/ motel. I didn't buy anything because the prices were at least 200% above normal. I didn't inquire if any of the rooms were open or the rates. There was another cycle tourist there (a young lady). She wasn't carrying much behind her bicycle. I didn't see much camping gear. She told me that she had started from Austin and supposedly this was her fifth day out. I didn't think that this was right. There was no way that she could have cycled from Austin in four days. She must have done a lot of hitch-hiking to get the distance in.

Once I got a little over a mile from the trading center on US 90, I started to ride through some really thick fog. There were lots of rolling hills. I took an extended break at a picnic area to wait out the fog. The fog didn't burn away till almost 10:30 am. The shoulder remained pretty rough until I crossed into Terrell County. The shoulder was still chip-sealed but it was much smoother. By noon, I had made about 19.75 miles.

It got warm enough for me to take the hoodie off but I still kept my jacket on. Around 12:30 pm, the lady on bicycle passed me. She quickly rode out of sight. I didn't stop for lunch.

The twenty miles left to Dryden were quite hilly. There was one section where I got off Alice and walked up it. About 1.5 miles out of Dryden, there was a downhill coast.

I got into Dryden about 4 pm. There wasn't much open. There was a trading post/ post office. I got permission to camp out behind the trading post for the night. I was told that other cyclists had camped out here before. There is electricity and water available.

I'm going to do a short day of about 20 miles into Sanderson tomorrow. The goal is to get into Alpine Saturday and spend Sunday there. This will put me into Van Horn next Wednesday and I should get into El Paso Monday, Jan 23rd.

Jan 12, 2017 : Dryden, TX to Sanderson, TX : 20.59 miles (32.94 km)
Trip Total: 2,295.14 miles (3,672.22 km)
Year Total: 344.31 miles (550.26 km)

I had a somewhat good night camping out behind the trading post. The only place out of the way from view was on the pea gravel and stone parking lot behind the store. There was electricity available and water close by. It was good being able to plug in my laptop during the night. The night was a little cool. I was able to get some sleep even though there were a couple of lights behind the store and the railroad close by.

I woke up early before 6 am. I packed up after 7 am. I got on the road around 7:40 am. There was some thick fog to deal with. The hills started about 8 miles West of Dryden.

About 10 miles out of Dryden, I met up with a lady cyclists. She was with a group who had started in Alaska and was riding to Key West, FL. They've been out for a little over 6 months. About 4 miles out of Sanderson, I met up with a guy and a girl who was with the lady. They had gotten a late start from Sanderson. I told them about camping at the trading post in Dryden and this is the only place to get water. I learned that the young lady who I met earlier in the morning was going to try and ride all of the way to Langtry to try and get to the post office there before it closed.

The rest of the ride to Sanderson went okay. There was a motel on the East side of the town. I could have camped out for free but I opted to get a room for the night since it was cold. I was given a discount on the room. The guy from India provided a plate of snacks for free and he offered to get me a vegetarian meal for supper.

I'll be riding to Marathon tomorrow. For lodging, there is supposed to be some kind of hostel and cyclists can stay one night there for free. It will be a long 55 mile day tomorrow.

Jan 13, 2017 : Sanderson TX to Sanderson, TX : 04.57 miles (07.31 km)
Trip Total: 2,299.71 miles (3,679.54 km)
Year Total: 348.88 miles (558.21 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the motel. Around 7:45 pm, Mr Danny came by with some home cooked rice and vegetables and chick pea soup. I was able to get some rest during the night.

I left the motel around 7:55 pm. There was fog but I didn't know how thick it was. It was super thick. I made my way through town and stopped at the Stripes gas station on the West edge of town to wait out the fog. The fog was just too thick to try and ride. I tried getting a ride West but after about 90 minutes I gave up. The fog had almost disappeared but it was too late to try and ride to Marathon.

I rode back into town to see if I could connect with a local minister. I only found out that there was one pastor who lived in town. He was the pastor at the Presbyterian Church but he was a teacher with the school district. I decided to go back to the motel and use some of the money from the recent online donation to get the room again.

Not too sure about tomorrow. There are supposed to be thunderstorms. I might have to go into town and try and connect with the pastor at the Presbyterian Church.

Jan 14, 2017 : Sanderson TX to Sanderson, TX : 06.76 miles (10.82 km)
Trip Total: 2,306.47 miles (3,690.35 km)
Year Total: 355.24 miles (568.38 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the motel. I headed out a little before 8 am. I wasn't sure what the weather was going to be. There was a 50% chance of thunderstorms. The weather report on the news was quite sketchy. There were graphs instead of radar views. The temperature was in the upper 40s. The sky was a little overcast and there was light fog. I stopped at the gas station on the West end of town to get some milk.

About a couple of miles away from Sanderson, a pick-up truck pulled off the road in front of me. It was Mr Danny from the motel. He had a bag of snacks for me. Mr Danny told me that he was concerned about me because there was the possibility of freezing rain in front of me. He advised me to go back to the motel. He told me that he would give me the room for half price. Mr Danny also told me about a free breakfast going on at the American Legions Hall. The breakfast was pretty good.

I'll be going to the Presbyterian church tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll be able to spend the day in the fellowship hall. The high tomorrow is supposed to be in the upper 60s.

Jan 15, 2017 : Sanderson TX to Sanderson, TX : 01.24 miles (01.98 km)
Trip Total: 2,307.71 miles (3,692.34 km)
Year Total: 356.48 miles (570.36 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the motel. I headed out a little around 9 am. It looked like it had rained during the night and it might rain again today.

From the motel, it was a little over a mile ride into town and to the First Presbyterian Church. I thought that there was going to be a Sunday school class but people didn't start showing up until 10:30 am. I thought that there was nobody around but the pastor was already at the church in the fellowship hall. I got to talk with the pastor before the service. There were not that many people in the congregation. During the short service, I got introduced and was able to speak to the members. After the service, I got taken out to a local restaurant for dinner. I got permission to spend the night in the fellowship hall.

The next update will be posted between January 22nd and January 29th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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