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TRIP 2017

Update #03 - January 28th
Deming, NM
Mission Trip 71: 2,664.59 miles (4,263.34 km)
Year Total : 713.33 miles (1,141.33 km)



Jan 16, 2017 : Sanderson TX to Marathon, TX : 55.86 miles (89.38 km)
Trip Total: 2,363.57 miles (3,781.71 km)
Year Total: 412.34 miles (659.74 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night in the fellowship hall of the church. The pastor gave me the access code to the wifi network. I posted a trip update on my ministry website. I pigged out on apple pie and watched movies on YouTube. I made a pallet in one of the youth classrooms adjoining the fellowship hall.

It was almost 7 am when I woke up. I left the church a little before 8 am. The temperature was in the 40s but at least the sky was clear. Pretty well all morning, I rode up a slight incline. By noom, I had ridden a little more than 23 miles. I had finished up Terrel County, ridden a short distance in Pecos County and gotten into Brewster County. Once I got into Brewster County, the chip sealing on the shoulder pretty well disappeared. For 12 more miles, I rode up a slight incline through the mountains to Lemons Gap.

I stopped at a rest stop about 20 miles out of Marathon for a late lunch break. I took about 20 minutes off the road. About a half mile away from the rest stop, I started to go downhill at a pretty reasonable coast of about 11 mph. The downhill run lasted about 2 miles and then I had to go up another crest in the mountains. After that, the downhill coast was more gradual.

About 8 miles out of Marathon, I met up with a couple of older cyclists (husband and wife). They had started from San Diego and were cycling to St Augustine. They had started the day from Alpine and wanted to get in some more miles in today. They said that they were carrying enough water with them to allow them to camp out some place tonight. I told then about the rest stop with the two sheltered picnic tables about 13 miles away. The husband told me that they might camp out underneath one of the picnic tables.

I got into Marathon a little after 5 pm. The town was a lot smaller than Sanderson. There was a grocery store but the foods were mostly organic and very high priced. It took a while to find the hostel (WS showers stopover). The hostel isn't a place where you wanted to spend more than one night here. It was really run down. There were a couple of cabins that you could rent out but they didn't have restrooms. The hostel bunkroom had one bed and a rickity bunk bed. I'm glad that I'm the only person spending the night. There was a space heater to keep the room warm. The restroom building was in really bad shape. A port-a-toilet would have probably been cleaner.

I've got a 31 mile ride to Alpine tomorrow. There are supposed to be two WS members in that town.



Jan 17, 2017 : Marathon, TX to Alpine, TX : 13.89 miles (22.22 km)
Trip Total: 2,377.46 miles (3,803.94 km)
Year Total: 426.23 miles (681.97 km)

It was a bit of an off evening at the La Loma Del Chivo hostel in Marathon. The hostel was in really bad shape. There were a lot of safety issues. I had the small space heater cranking all evening but the room didn't get all that warm because there was a gap near the top of the front wall that allowed the hot air to escape the room. I used my sleeping bag and a blanket that was on one of the bunkbeds to keep warm. I'm glad that nobody showed up to share the room. I woke up several times during the night to go to the restroom. There was a strange warning sign fastened to the wall near the door to the bunkhouse that said they did building and other kinds of experimentations at the hostel and they are not liable if you got harmed by the experiments.

I left the hostel a little before 8 am. The sky was overcast and it was really cold. The temperature must have been in the low 30s. I noticed that I was steadily climbing. About 13 miles out of Marathon, the sky was really getting foggy in front of me. About 13.8 miles out of Marathon, I stopped to check out a ghost bike monument where a guy had gotten killed by a dui in 2012.

Right after I had gotten across the highway back to Alice, two guys in a pickup truck stopped to see if I needed any help. It turns out that the guys were the chief and assistant chief of the Marathon fire department. They were going to Alpine to pick up some supplies so they offered to take me to Alpine with them. It was really good that I got a ride because the fog got really thick through the Del Norte and Glass Mountains. The top of the pass was at least 1,000 feet higher than Marathon. From what I learned through talking with the two guys that the village has had a lot of problems with the hostel. Several years ago, they had brought in a lot of hoboes and they did a lot of robberies around the village. I also learned that there is no city codes in construction in Marathon because the village of 500 is incorporated.

In Alpine, I got left off at the Thriftway Grocery store. I was able to get enough supplies to fill up my fill up my food pannier so I would have food till at least Van Horn three days away. From the grocery store, I rode over to a McDs a couple of blocks away to get a hot lunch. After lunch, I stopped at a Family Dollar to get a few things. Near the Family Dollar was the First United Methodist Church. The pastor was in his office but he was with somebody planning a memorial service. I had to wait a while. The pastor knew the person in charge of Salvation Army. I had to go to the nearby Chamber of Commerce - Visitor center to wait. I went inside to wait for a bit. The lady in the center told me that I was now 4,480 feet above sea level. She was surprised when I told her that I was sixty. She told me that I could pass for somebody 45. I got connected with the guy from the Salvation Army and was told to go to a motel that was close to the McDs.

The weather should be a lot better tomorrow. I've got about a 28 mile ride to Marfa. I'll be riding over Paisano Pass, which is 594 feet higher than Alpine. I'll have a 389 feet drop in 12 miles to Marfa which is 4685 feet above sea level and 205 feet higher than Alpine. From Marfa, I'll be dropping elevation. Valentine my next stop is 4,432 feet above sea level. Van Horn is 4065 feet above sea level. Between Del Rio and Alpine, I had gained 3,485 feet in elevation. From Van Horn, I will be dropping 325 feet of elevation to El Paso. Between Sanderson and Alpine, I had gained 1,691 feet in elevation.



Jan 18, 2017 : Alpine, TX to Marfa, TX : 29.89 miles (47.82 km)
Trip Total: 2,407.35 miles (3,851.76 km)
Year Total: 456.12 miles (729.79 km)

It was a bit of an off evening at the motel. The motel and the room was bad. There was a space heater in the room because there was no heater unit in the air conditioner. I was surprised that I was able to get some rest.

I threw most of my things over the railing so I wouldn't have to make a lot of trips up and down the bad stairs. I only had to make two trips. It was around 8:15 am when I left the motel. There was some light fog. I rode through town and I stopped at a Dollar General to get a few things.

By the time that I got out of the Dollar General, the fog had cleared up. The sky became quite clear. The ride was a climb but the climb was kind of gradual. There were several sections where the ride was pretty level. I climbed for about 14 miles before I got to the top of Paisano Pass. Along the way, I finished up Brewster County and entered Presidio County. The supper smooth shoulder disappeared but the shoulder in Presidio County wasn't that bad. The terraign really changed on the other side of the Pass. I wished that I had charged my cell phone yesterday so I could have taken pictures. I went from riding through rolling mountains to a very spread out plateau of the Chihuhuan high desert. I started to coast down the other side of the Pass. By noon, I was about 9 miles out of Marfa. I stopped at a rest stop/ viewing area for a short lunch break.

About four miles out of Marfa, I spotted my second road runner. The bird was then than two feet tall. It had a really long tail. I couldn't take any pictures of it because my cell phone battery was run down.

The ride to Marfa went okay. I got into Marfa around 1:40 pm. My first stop was at a laundromat. It was good to get my clothes washed. The laundromat was cheap. It cost me $2 for my clothes. I was given free soap. It was warm enough that I was able to take all of my jackets off.

After loading up Alice again, I rode around town to see if I could find a local minister at one of the churches. The one church that looked big enough to have a minister possibly in town was the Methodist Church but I knew that the Methodist minister that I met in Alpine yesterday had this church as well as the one in Alpine. I decided to stop at the Presidio Sheriff's office to see if somebody there knew a local minister. The department did have a chaplain. After a wait of about an hour, I was given directions to the chaplain's church - Nueva Vida Baptist. I waited at church a couple of hours before the pastor came by. There was just a handful of people attending the service. I got introduced and was able to say a few words. Most of the service was in Spanish. After the service, I had to meet the minister back at the sheriff's office and he made me a voucher for a room at a motel on the Eastern edge of the town.

My goal for tomorrow is to get to Valentine 34 miles away. I'm not sure that I will be able to ride all of the way because there is going to be a high wind warning. The winds could be between 20 and 40 mph.

From Marfa, I'll be dropping elevation. Valentine my next stop is 4,432 feet above sea level so I will have a drop of 253 feet. Van Horn is 4065 feet above sea level so I will be losing another 367 feet in elevation. Between Del Rio and Alpine, I had gained 3,485 feet in elevation. From Van Horn, I will be dropping 325 feet of elevation to El Paso. Between Sanderson and Alpine, I had gained 1,691 feet in elevation.



Jan 19, 2017 : Marfa, TX to Van Horn, TX : 13.97 miles (22.35 km)
Trip Total: 2,421.32 miles (3,874.11 km)
Year Total: 470.09 miles (752.14 km)

I had an okay evening at the motel. I left the motel a little after 8 am. There wasn't any strong winds. Once back in town, I stopped at a Dollar General to get a few things. The ride through the rest of Marfa went okay.

The farther that I got away from Marfa, the stronger the winds became from the West. The shoulder surface got really rough. I was really having a hard time averaging 5 mph. The winds were getting close to being over 20 mph. I was even having a hard time walking up a hill.

About 11 miles out of Marfa, I was able to get a guy in a pick-up to stop. Since he was on his way to Van Horn, he offered to take me there. He had a really cute little dog who was 17 years old. I'm glad that I got a ride not because of the strong winds but there was about a 10 mile section of road construction South of Valentine that I would have had a hard time getting through especially when there was just one lane of traffic. Valentine was too small and there would have been no possible help there.

Between Valentine and Van Horn, we rode passed large fields where cotton was grown using pivot irrigation. The acquifier in the area is low. We also rode passed a really large pecan grove that must have had at least a thousand trees in it. There was also another stretch of rough roads. About ten miles out of Van Horn, the highway really approved.

We got into Van Horn around 12:30 pm. I got left off at a closed gas station. I rode back to the interstate and stopped at a Wendys at a truckstop to get a late lunch. From the Wendys, I rode back into town to see if I could find somebody at one of the churches. After making several passes by the churches, I finally found a car in front of the First Baptist Church. It was one of the deacons. The church hasn't had a pastor in a couple of years. Van Horn is about 86% Hispanic and Catholic. The deacon gave me a small GH. He had offered to let me sleep in one of the Sunday school classrooms in another building but the guy didn't have the right key chain with him.

I was told to go to this church next to a big motel on Bus I-10 because the pastor was supposed to be part of the Salvation Army program. The church was the Van Horn Community Church. It took a while of waiting and a couple of phone calls but the pastor offered to meet me at his church. When the pastor showed up, he told me that he couldn't really help me because he had left the church and was moving out of town. He suggested that I go to the county courthouse and try and connect with one of the deputies at the sheriff's department. One of the lady deputies in the jail part, contacted the lady in charge of the Christian Shelter. The shelter was closed for repairs so the lady offered to meet me at a motel on the Eastern edge of Van Horn and get me a room. Before I left the sheriff department, the lady deputy filled up one of my water bottles with some nice hot vegetable soup.

My goal tomorrow is to try and get to Sierra Blanca. It might be hard because there is supposed to be strong winds. I might have to go to a gas station on the west edge of Van Horn and try and get another ride.



Jan 20, 2017 : Van Horn, TX to Van Horn, TX : 02.73 miles (04.37 km)
Trip Total: 2,424.05 miles (3,878.48 km)
Year Total: 470.09 miles (752.14 km)

I had a bad evening at the motel. The motel was pretty run down. Neither of the beds were made up and there were no sheets available. The mattress covers were pretty filthy and so were the pillows. There was just one pillowcase. There were also no towels or washcloths.

The heater unit just blew out luke warm air. I had to wrap up in one of the bedspreads to get some rest. The motel was really close to a busy railroad.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. I rode through town to the McDs on the W edge of town. The winds weren't that strong but there was a threat of high winds. I decided to try and take the day off. I called up some friends of mine to see if one of them could help me with a motel room. A friend of mine in MS offered to help me out today.



Jan 21, 2017 : Van Horn, TX to Van Horn, TX : 00.00 miles (00.00 km)
Trip Total: 2,424.05 miles (3,878.48 km)
Year Total: 470.09 miles (752.14 km)

I had a okay evening at the motel. The motel was okay. I had planned to head out a little after 8 am but the sky was pretty dark. Looking at the radar out of El Paso, I saw that storms were coming this way. There were warnings of gusts over 40 mph. It would have been too dangerous to head out. I called up a pastor friend of mine in New York to see if he would help me out . I caught him as he was getting ready to board a jet. The owner of the motel gave us a 10% (senior discount) on the room.

I'll probably go to the First Baptist Church in town tomorrow morning and see if I could spend the night in a classroom like I was possibly going to Thursday.



Jan 22, 2017 : Van Horn, TX to Van Horn, TX : 02.24 miles (03.58 km)
Trip Total: 2,424.05 miles (3,878.48 km)
Year Total: 470.09 miles (752.14 km)

I had a okay day at the motel. It was good that I was off the road. It rained pretty hard a couple of times. I'm glad that I was on the East side of the motel. If I was on the West side, there might have been some rain coming into the room underneath the door. The wind blew so hard that it blew off some shingles off the roof. By about 4 pm, the majority of the storm had passed and the sky was clear.

The evening wasn't as good. I was in sort of a deep sleep when sometime around midnight, I heard a loud knocking on the internal adjoining door. I didn't open it to find out was wrong. It stopped and then there was some loud knocking on the motel room door. When I went to the front of the room and looked out the window, I saw this angry obese old man and he was yelling something about me stopping to smoke in my room. I didn't take the time to put on my pants. I opened the door and loudly told the guy that there was no way that I was smoking. I let the guy come into the room to show him. He was still adament that I was smoking but I showed if that there was no evidence for the false claim.

It was a bit of a struggle falling back asleep. I was surprised that it was almost 7:20 am when I woke up again. I left the motel a little after 9 am. I complained to the gentleman that was in the office. He told me that there has been other problems with the guy on the late night shift falsely accusing other guests. I'll send the manager a complaint email when I get on the web again.

I rode back into the downtown area to where the churches were. I stopped at the United Methodist Church but there was nobody there. I rode back to the First Baptist Church. I got involved in the adult men's Sunday school class. This was my 6th church to speak at for the year. The service was okay. I was surprised at the number of people in the sanctuary even though the church hasn't had a pastor for the past year or so, They had a professor from El Paso to give the sermon. It was okay. Afterwards, I was given permission to stay in one of the Sunday school classrooms in another building. There was also a small meal in the fellowship hall/ youth meeting room.



Jan 23, 2017 : Van Horn, TX to Sierra Blanca, TX : 33.97 miles (55.35 km)
Trip Total: 2,460.26 miles (3,936.42 km)
Year Total: 509.03 miles (814.45 km)

I had a okay afternoon and night camping out in one of the youth sunday school classrooms at the First Baptist Church in Van Horn. I got myself situated at the far end of the room near the air conditioner/ heater unit. I did have to put up an old movie projector screen in front of the front window since it didn't have a venetian blind. I was able to get some rest but I did have some strange dreams throughout the night.

It was almost 7:20 am. I got quickly packed up and dressed. I left the church around 8 am. It was a little cool but there was no strong wind. I stopped at the Dollar General for a few more groceries since I didn't think that I'd find another store till I got close to El Paso.

At the end of Bus 10 before I got on the interstate, I had another cross-country cyclist come up from behind me. The guy was on an unloaded Surely touring bike and he was pulling a Burley two-wheeled trailor. He told me that he had started from Jackson, MS and was on his way to San Diego. This was his first tour. He had gotten a ride from six miles south of Valentine into Van Horn Saturday. He told me that he had stayed at a non-chain motel and he had had a bad two nights at motel. His plan was to push all the way into Fort Hancock today, which was over 70 miles away. He passed me and was out of sight.

Starting from the edge of Van Horn, there was a steady climb through the Davis Mountains. About 5 miles out of Van Horn as I was going passed a rest stop/ scenic overlook, I got flagged down by a guy in a car. It was the deacon at the First Baptist Church who had let me into the classroom. He told me that he had gone to the church to see if I was still there because he had a small love offering from the sunday school class that I had attended. We talked for a few more minutes. Before he left, he slipped me a small GH.

About a third of a mile from the rest stop, I crossed into Husdspeth County and also into the Mountain Time Zone. I stopped to take a few pictures of the sign and then adjusted the time on all of my electronics. From the county sign, it was a couple more miles ride to the top of the mountains. From there, I had a couple of miles coasting before the plateau leveled out. I rode along the shoulder of the interstate for a couple more miles before I was able to get on the frontage road (old US 80) for the rest of the ride into Sierra Blanca.

By noon, I had ridden almost 28 miles. I stopped alongside the road to take a short break to get some calories into my stomach. It was about a 5 mile ride from there into Sierra Blanca.

I got into Sierra Blanca a little before 1 pm. I was almost 400 feet higher in elevation than in Van Horn. I stopped at a gas station for a short break. Right at the end of my break, this lady came up to me to slip me a small GH. From the gas station, I rode into town and stopped at the law enforcement building. I got directed to one of the ladies in the county tax assessors office because her husband was one of the deacons at the First United Methodist church. I got permission to spend the night in the fellowship hall.

I'll be riding to Fort Hancock tomorrow about 36 miles away. There will be some frontage road to ride along for about half of the way. Near McNary, Tomorrow. I'll be dropping almost 1,000 feet in elevaton. I'll be getting off of the shoulder of I-10 and then on to TX 20 (old US 90) for the rest of the ride through El Paso and the rest of Texas. I'm about 111.9 miles away from the NM state line.

Van Horn, TX : 4,042 feet
Sierra Blanca, TX : 4,428 feet
Fort Hancock, TX : 3,578 feet
El Paso, TX : 3,740 feet.



Jan 24, 2017 : Sierra Blanca, TX to Fort Hancock, TX : 36.72 miles (58.75 km)
Trip Total: 2,496.98 miles (3,995.17 km)
Year Total: 545.72 miles (873.20 km)

I had a bit of an off night in the fellowship hall of the Methodist Church. Around 5:00 pm, Rhonda and her husband showed up at the church. Rhonda was going to have a social club meeting with some of the ladies in town till around 8 pm. Rhonda's husband, Don, let me into the church. I made a short walk to the Subway and got myself a kid's meal. I was just finishing up my first bite of the sandwich when Don showed up and he was going to take me out to eat. We went to a restaurant on the South side of the interstate. I got a hamburger and curley fries combo. The hamburger was huge. It was twice the size of a McDs hamburger and the bun was as wide as a small salad plate. Since we were the only guests eating in, we enjoyed a long conversation. Don is involved with doing a ministry at the county sheriff jail. I learned that the pastor at the Van Horn church comes here. If he can't make the trip, there is a lay leader. The church has hosted quite a few people staying in the fellowship hall before. They are also the town's food bank since there is no grocery store in town. Most people either go to the small grocery store in Van Horn or make the long trip to El Paso.

We got back to the church around 7 pm. Another guy showed up. He told me his first name and it sounded Russian. Around 7:30 pm, I was given the all clear to move over to the fellowship hall. I was thinking that I was going to have the fellowship hall to myself but that wasn't going to be the case. The other guy told me that he was staying as well. There wasn't any classrooms that I could duck into so I opted to camp out in the kitchen. The guy told me that he was going to camp out in the main part of the hall near the table where there was a computer. He told me that he was going to spend most of the night filling out applications online. There was wifi and I was given the password.

I had a strange brief conversation with the guy. He told me that he was either from Dallas or Ft Worth and he came to this part of the state after he had quit his job. He had taken out the money of his retirement fund and bought something like 20 acres of undeveloped land near Sierra Blanca. With the money from the retirement fund he had bought some life insurance policies and named some his family members as beneficiaries. The guy told me that he had planned to commit suicide but something about the land made him forgo these plans. This was pretty strange and that's why I didn't feel comfortable being around him. He did tell me that he was attending church and was doing some volunteer work around the town. His truck was in need of repairs. He didn't mention anything about his relationship with Jesus though.

I was able to get a little sleep but it was hard drowning out the sound of the refrigerator and freezer. I was so happy that there wasn't any ice maker. In between the short naps that I was able to take, I spent a lot of time watching fan made Star Trek movies on YouTube.

Around 6:30 am, the sun started to poke up from the horizon. I quietly got myself dressed, had breakfast, and packed up Alice. The guy didn't wake up.

It was about 7:20 am when I got back on the road. The sky was clear but it was quite windy. It had to have been a little over 20 mph. I was only averaging around 5 mph. I had thoughts about turning around to see if I could spend another night but I didn't want to have to deal with the other guy.

About 6 miles out, I cycled passed the US Border Patrol station. The east bound traffic on I-10 had to go through the check point. There was some remote sensors on the West bound lanes of the interstate but there were no remote sensors on the access road. The access road ended at this rest stop about 8 miles out of Sierra Blanca. There were three picnic tables under some shelters of concrete that looked like teepees. I stopped at one of these sheltered tables for about 20 minutes.

Once, I got on the shoulder of I-10 there was about a mile climb up to the top of this ridge and then I started a downward coast of about 12 miles. The shoulder of the interstate went from concrete to asphalt and back to concrete several times bbut there was no chip sealing. I was coasting between 9 and 11 mph. The ride down to the valley went okay. Once the terraign leveled out, I had about a nine mile ride where I got off of I-10 to get on TX 20. The wind was strong but didn't seem as strong as what it was on top of the plateau.

I did have a hard time getting from the interstate onto TX 20 because of the wind. It was like I was trying to ride against the winds in a wind tunnel. I stopped under the interstate to take a short break. The ride along TX 20 was really hard because of the chip sealing that was really rough. There was nothing in McNary except for some broken down store buildings. I pushed on to Fort Hancock 5 miles away.

Fort Hancock was a really small town. There were not that many churches in town. There was a small community church, a Catholic church without a rectory, a Spanish Assemblies of God church, and a church called Living Waters. This church was on the main road through the town. There was a house next to the church. With a dog barking in the back yard and a pick-up truck parked out with one of the rear tires missing, I assumed that somebody lived in the house but there was nobody home. I parked myself in front of the church for a couple of hours in hopes that somebody would show up.

It was getting dark around 6 pm. I decided to go to plan B which was to find some place to camp out. There was some open land on the other side of the road. I found a place to camp out about 500 feet off the road behind some scrub bushes which looked to be tall enough to his Alice and my tent. There was enough available light that I was able to pitch my tent without using my camping light. At least, the wind had died down. Hopefully, I'll not have any strong winds to deal with tomorrow. I'm about 51 miles away from El Paso. I'll be gaining about 200 feet back in elevation in El Paso.

Fort Hancock, TX : 3,578 feet

El Paso, TX : 3,740 feet.

Jan 25, 2017 : Fort Hancock, TX to Fabens, TX : 26.29 miles (42.06 km)
Trip Total: 2,523.27 miles (4,037.23 km)
Year Total: 572.01 miles (915.22 km)

It was a cold night camping out in my tent. At least, my sleeping bag kept me warm but I did experience some chills before I got warm. I wished that I had taken the time to stake down my tent. Sometime around 2 am, a really strong wind gusts nearly flipped my tent over. I had to shift my panniers and stuff around to weigh my tent down inside. This did seem to help and I was able to fall back asleep till around 6:30 am.

Once it got light enough, I started to move everything out of the tent. Once the tent was empty, it started to roll away. I had to quickly grab it and pack it up. It was really cold. I should have taken the time to put on my thermal underwear before taking down the tent but I did get out my wool jacket and put it on.

It was about 7:20 am when I got back on the road. The wind was really strong coming from the Northwest. I was only averaging about 5 mph. Around 9:30 am, I stopped at this closed rest stop for a short break. There were no picnic tables. About a mile North of the rest stop, the highway really improved with a wide shoulder to ride along and no chip sealing. I was now able ot ride around 7 mph. My speed increased when I rode passed these large pecan groves.

I crossed into El Paso just before getting into Tortillo. I got into Tortillo around 11:30 am. I stopped at a gas station to use the restroom and to get something to drink and I also stopped at a Dollar General to get a few more food supplies. There were no churches in the area. From Tortillo, it was about a 5 mile ride to Fabens.

I was pretty well commited to try and stop somewhere in Fabens for the night. The first church that I came across was a Mormon church. Riding into town, I came across a Christian church and a Baptist Church. Both of them were quite small and there were no indications that there were going to be any Wednesday night services. There were also no names of ministers or contact numbers. I stopped at the Catholic church and talked with the secretary. The priest was out. I was given directions to where I could find the Methodist Church but it was too small to have an office and there was no contact number.

Before heading out of town, I stopped at this other ministry called Tapestries of Life. I thought that it was a church but it was actually a volunteer center/ dorms for people coming into the area to work at an orphanage in Guadalupe, Mexico about eight miles from here. There was a phone number and I called it. I talked with the director, Rev Steve Brewer. Steve contacted this lady who was inside and he gave me permission to stay inside till at least when he would be coming back around 6 pm to talk. The lady who had come from MN got me a good meal of fresh vegetable soup.

I'm about 28 miles away from El Paso. There is are several WS members in El Paso. Hopefully, the wind speeds will be a lot less tomorrow.

Fort Hancock, TX : 3,578 feet
El Paso, TX : 3,740 feet.



Jan 26, 2017 : Fabens, TX to Berino, NM : 58.69 miles (93.90 km)
Trip Total: 2,581.96 miles (4,131.14 km)
Year Total: 630.70 miles (1,009.12 km)

I had an okay night the volunteer center of the Tapetries Of Life Ministry. There was plenty of room that I was able to have my old bedroom. There were two bunkbeds in the room. When the volunteer crew from Minnesota came back from the orphanage in Mexico they had a plate of food for me. There were two large pieces of meatloaf, some peas, and a baked potato. For dessert, I had some chocolate and strawberry ice cream. I could have used the washer and dryer but I didn't have enough even for a small load. I couldn't think about wasting all of that water. The crew were from Minnesota about an hour North of the Twin Cities. Two of the ladies serenaded me because they were part of the Sweet Adeline singing club. I was able to update my website.

I went to bed about 10 pm. My bioclock woke me up around 4 am. I stayed in my room till around 6 am. I got dressed, got Alice repacked, and went into the kitchen to get some breakfast and to also get back on the internet. People started to get up around 7:20 am. The ladies gave me a package of nut and zuchinni bread. After saying goodbye, I took Alice outside with the help of one of the guys. Jim wanted to get me alone because he wanted to give me a GH.

It was really cold. I stopped to get on my wool jacket. I wished that I had put on my long underwear. There were small pools of water alongside the road that had ice on them. I stopped at a 7-11 in Clint to get some hot chocolate. I had a good conversation with two police officers. One of the officers had a boot on his right foot. The officer's partner joked that he had shot himself in the foot but he had surgery done on one his toes on Dec 31. He hoped to have the boot off in a couple of weeks. They were both Christian.

The rest of the ride into El Paso went okay. By noon, I had ridden 21 miles. I stopped at a McDs for some lunch. I had plans to try and connect with one of the three WS members in El Paso but I decided to go ahead and get the rest of Texas done. I haven't done a full day's ride since Jan 16 between sanderson and Marathon. From the McDs, I had about an eight mile ride into the downtown area.

I was hoping to ride up the Border Highway (TX 85) but it was under repair. I was only able to ride up to the next intersection. I couldn't really ride on the road because of the barriers. I rode along the sidewalk. At least traffic was light. I was able to take some pictures of the border wall.

I got on Schuyster and went passed the campus of UT El Paso. I headed North on TX (N Mesa Street). The ride was up a really long and high ridge line (mesa). I spent most of the ride up and down the hills on sidewalks. I was able to get up to the top of the ridge line in my middle gears. The ride down to I-10 went okay. Once I got to the interstate, the terraign was pretty flat.

I got into Anthony, NM a little before dark. I was able to take a couple pictures of the state sign before it got dark. I got a little confused on my route. I was supposed to get on NM 480 but I got on NM 460. I got on a lighted bike trail for about two miles. I went across the road to a gas station for a break. I got out my lights. I was mildly upset that I must have misplaced one of my headlights.

Nm 460 ended near the interstate and I found myself on a dirt road. I really wasn't sure where I was. I was thinking that I might be close to Berino. I was too tired to go any farther. There was some open scrub land. I got about six hundred feet off the dirt road and pitched my tent behind some low bushes.

I'm thinking that I'm about 20 miles out of Las Cruces. Sometime tomorrow morning, I'll be passing the 260,000 mile mark.



Jan 27, 2017 : Berino, TX to Fairacres (W Las Cruces), NM : 24.87 miles (39.72 km)
Trip Total: 2,581.96 miles (4,131.14 km)
Year Total: 630.70 miles (1,009.12 km)

I had an okay night camping out in my tent. I was able to get some sleep even though I wasn't that far away from the interstate. The wind wasn't that bad at night. I woke up once during the night to relief my bladder but I was able to fall back asleep. It was almost 7 am when I got out of my sleeping bag. Getting out of the tent, I sort of slipped on the loose sand and I leaned on the tent a little bit but it was enough that snapped the weakened pole section. When it snapped, it popped a hole in the tent fly. I've got to try and fix the problems before putting the tent up. I'm thinking about replacing the broken pole section with one of the sections of the short pole that holds the tent fly in place.

It was about 7:40 am when I got back on the dirt road. There were only two houses on the dirt road. I'm thinking that this was actually a private road but I didn't see any signs on the other side of the road by the interstate. The dirt road ended at a paved road and I took that into Berino. In Berino, I turned North on NM 480. The ride North went okay. I had to stop and get out my wool cap and long-fingered gloves. 11 miles down the highway, I passed the 260,000 miles since this adventure started in 1997. I stopped to take some pictures and short videos of some specialized railroad track vehicles. Instead of a whole series of small vehicles that do one specialized things there were just three large vehicles.

I got into Las Cruces a little before noon. I had ridden 21 miles. I stopped at a Church's Chicken for some lunch. I was looking at possibly connecting with some friends of mine who hadn't seen in over 11 years but there phone number was disconnected. Bob used to work at New Mexico State University. There nited weren't that many churches in the downtown area. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church but the only thing open was the childcare center. There was nobody at the Episcopal Church. I didn't feel like trying to find the other churches because I was sure that the church offices would be closed on Friday afternoons.

I headed West on US 70 (Bus I-10). I was able to contact a minister friend of mine in NY and he offered to get me a room but he had to do it through Expedia because the motel wouldn't take his credit card over the phone.

My goal tomorrow is to go to Deming. I'm not going to have to be in the interstate all of the way because there are frontage roads. 39 miles out of Las Cruces (11 miles out of Deming), I'll be getting on TX 549. I'm going to try and find some place to camp out close to Deming and then ride the rest of the way into Deming Sunday morning.

In about an hour, I'll be heading out of Las Cruces, NM (3,900 feet above sea level) to Deming, NM (4,334 feet above sea level). I've got about 12 miles of riding along the shoulder of I-10. The rest of the way to Deming is frontage roads and NM state roads. I'll be spending Sunday in Deming. Monday between Deming and Lordsburg (4,249 feet above sea level), I'll be crossing the Continental Divide (the Southern Rockies, 4,585 feet above sea level).

It's been really cool being that I'm over 3,500 feet above sea level. The high yesterday was in the high 40s. The temperature should be getting back into the sixties next week.

I'm 120 miles from the AZ state line and 704 miles away from San Diego, CA. Along the way, I'll be riding through Tuscon (2,388 feet above sea level) and Yuma, AZ (141 feet above sea level) and El Centro, CA (39 feet below sea level). Between El Centro and San Diego (62 feet above sea level), I'll be crossing the Southern Cascade Range at Dulzura, CA (1,439 feet above sea level). I've ridden 2,607 miles for the trip so far so I'm little over a quarter of a mile through my trip



Jan 28, 2017 : Fairacres (W Las Cruces), NM to Deming, NM : 57.76 miles (92.42 km)
Trip Total: 2,664.59 miles (4,263.34 km)
Year Total: 713.33 miles (1,141.33 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. The room was okay. I stayed up kind of late and woke up around 5 am. Instead of checking out what was in the breakfast room, I got something to eat out of my food pannier. I didn't want to eat in the breakfast room.

I left the motel around 8 am. I had layered up but it didn't feel that cold because there was no wind. From where I was, it was about a five mile ride to the top of the plateau where I-10 was. Near the interstate, a group of local cyclists zipped passed me in their color coordinated cycling clothes.

I followed a frontage road for about five more miles and I stopped at a truckstop to get some hot chocolate. From the truckstop, it was a ride of about four more miles where I was able to get on the shoulder of I-10. The ride along the interstate went okay. For most of the way, the shoulder was smooth and unlittered. It was an okay ride even though I had traffic zip passed me several feet away at 75 mph. About 4 miles from where I got on the interstate, I went through a Border Patrol checkpoint. I got waived through.

I had plans to get on NM 549 soon but I decided to stay on the interstate till Akela Flats. I stopped at a restaurant because I had seen two cyclists ride over the interstate. I found out that they were a young couple from Switzerland. They had started in San Francisco and were currently riding across NM to the Texas Panhandle. They've been out since the beginning of December. They didn't have an end point. I wasn't sure where they were going to end their day because it was already after 2 pm. They had started from Deming around noon.

Cyclists couldn't get back on the interstate so I got on NM 549 for the remaining 20 mile ride into Deming. I got into the Eastern edge of Deming around dusk. The temperature during the night was going to get down into twenties. I decided to use my emergency money to get a room at one of the local motels instead of trying to connect with a local minister tonight. I did this because I should have access to funds from an online donation by mid week.

I'm 62 miles from the AZ state line and 646 miles away from San Diego, CA. Monday between Deming, (4,334 feet above sea level) and Lordsburg (4,249 feet above sea level), I'll be crossing the Continental Divide (the Southern Rockies, 4,585 feet above sea level). I'll have a 251 feet climb to the Continental Divide and a 336 feet drop to Lordsburg. From Lordsburg, I'll be losing elevation.

Along the way, I'll be riding through Tuscon (2,388 feet above sea level) and Yuma, AZ (141 feet above sea level) and El Centro, CA (39 feet below sea level). Between El Centro and San Diego (62 feet above sea level), I'll be crossing the Southern Cascade Range at Dulzura, CA (1,439 feet above sea level). I've ridden 2,607 miles for the trip so far so I'm little over a quarter of a mile through my trip.



The next update will be posted between February 04th and February 11th.




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