Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Windmills and rolling plains

Well, here's a classic symbol of the Texas plains, a windmill. And after riding a couple of hundred miles across them, I find them quite appropriate, not only as a survival tool for the farmers and ranchers, but also as a subtle warning for cross-country bicyclists. It's windy out here on the plains! Now, back home in El Paso, we get some pretty impressive sand storms, but all in all, we average less than 12 mph, which is why those big ol’ wind turbines aren’t standing shoulder to shoulder on the Franklin Mountains. Out here on the plains, a LIGHT breeze is 15 to 20 mph and fields of three armed Goliaths are, indeed, beginning to pop up.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m just reporting and not complaining (yet). So far, the wind has been our friend, and by that, I mean it’s been at our back or at the worst, a crosswind, but I’m certainly glad that we’re heading east and not west or south because a light wind of 15 miles per hour in our face would translate out to an agonizing crawl.
“So what if’n I ain’t got a good eductin, Jasus loves me anyway.”
“Now, you tell me, where’s a girl to pee out here?”
These boots were probably made for riding, but one old cowboy wanted to fondly remember those good old boots long after they stopped fitting into the stirrups so he hung them on the fence post to smile at each time he rode past.
Even Charley is amazed at his own juggling skills as he entertains a group of appreciative prairie dogs at free campsite in Crosbytown.

If there are any hills out there on this flat plain, just give us a bike and we will find them.

Kamala lifts a mug of delicious tea after a delicious meal at our “free” (wild camping) campsite on the S. Wichita River. We were serenaded by a family of coyotes howling, appropriately, at a full moon. I suspect they may have been more interested in the turkeys that I heard gobbling from the farm on the other side of the river than the moon.

We’ve now covered 615 miles on our way across North Texas. There have been good times and hard, sometimes all in the same day. The butts are tougher, the muscles stronger and our love and relationship is still intact and prospering. One of the neatest parts of this sort of adventure is sharing it with someone. I’m certainly glad I ended up with someone who is just crazy enough to enjoy this with me.

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