Texas Hill Country
October 12, 2020
Archer City, TX
Elevation: 1,086 ft.
Distance: 109.1 mi.
Odometer: 441.0 mi.
Woke up at 4:30 AM not to pack and go, but to see Peyton off at the airport. A hug, a goodbye, and a couple hours later, I was off at 8:00 AM. Long day ahead.
I had planned a route out of Denton that I was proud of for avoiding all major roads and highways. What I didn't know was that one of those roads was gravel. Wasn't too bad at first, and I was actually pretty happy to see how well Freebird handled it. Then the road was completely covered in white rocks that ranged in size from marble to golf ball. I tried riding over it with some success for a while, but it kept getting worse. I started fishtailing and nearly fell off my bike. After that, I walked my bike through the rest of the gravel.
Got on 380, which has a huge shoulder and a constant stream of loud trucks. Got annoying quickly. In Decatur I switched over to a similarly safe-but-loud highway until I found a small, infrequently used road that basically paralleled the highway. Probably used to be the main highway, and rather than expand it, they just built a new one.
I was making good time up until mile 64 in Bowie. That's when I turned to head due west in a straight line for 45 miles. There was a 20 mph SSW wind. I know that's closer to a cross wind than a headwind, but any time it's in front of you, you feel it. Especially when it's that strong.
It was slow going as the afternoon wore on. It kept getting hotter and I kept getting weaker. I had to take a rest stop every 10 miles towards the end. If I hadn't, I probably would've completely bonked. Got into town at 6:00 PM and still had no idea where I was staying the night. Luckily, Pastor Roger is letting me stay in his church. I even got to take a shower! Here's hoping I continue to be met with this kind of generosity.
Later that evening, I was writing in my journal when Roger came by to check on me. I had my hat off this time, and he did a double-take, then a wide grin when he saw my mohawk. It might be a good idea to keep it hidden until people get to know me, especially if I'm going to keep trying to stay at churches. After people get to know me though, they usually find it more amusing than disconcerting.
And Roger, if you ever read this, thanks again.
from Pedal for Potatoes