Texas Hill Country
October 12, 2020
Elevation: 3,979 ft.
Distance: 87.8 mi.
Odometer: 821.1 mi.
It was raining lightly when I hit the road this morning, so I put on my waterproof jacket. The rain started dying out right away, then disappeared after only a few miles. Rode past Cadillac Ranch, though it was on the other side of the highway. Going all the way around just for a good picture would add two miles. It was starting to rain again, so I decided against it. Besides, I've seen it before.
Turned north on a smaller road. Should save a couple miles. Three miles in, I lost pavement. And since it was raining, it was muddy. No way I could ride a loaded bike through that. I was forced to turn around. Just then, it started raining hard.
Even with a waterproof jacket, rain is obnoxious. I started wishing I'd taken Travis's advice and left the fenders on. I knew there'd be one day I'd really wish I had 'em. Maybe the drop in weight every day makes up for the one day of being wet.
Between miles 10 and 55, I saw zero towns. Not even a gas station. Nothing. Better get used to this. It was actually hilly in that stretch too, running all over the makings of a canyon. Rain was hard until mile 30, letting up at 40, almost gone at 50, and gone for good at 60. My jacket stayed on until mile 70, just in case.
What was frustrating was that if not for the rain, today could've been a great day. Tailwind, flat at the end. Oh well. Only had two rest stops on the day, so it went by sorta quick.
In Hartley, a town 15 miles from Dalhart, I rode past a couple teenagers standing next to a light blue Ford pickup. One was wearing an OU hat. As I passed, he called out, "Hey, c'mere!"
Seemed weird, so I asked, "What for?"
I rode on and glanced over my shoulder to make sure the pepper spray was still there. Half a mile later, I heard something metal bounce on the road behind me, then saw a light blue Ford pickup pass me. OU Hat was hanging out the window, flipping me off. Awesome.
Note: I'm aware that not all Sooners are by definition evil. Pastor Roger in Archer City, TX was wearing an OU shirt when I met him and was a very friendly and helpful guy.
Got close to Dalhart and turned off the highway to head to the lake. Started looking for the campgrounds. Where were they? Turns out what I thought was a state park was actually a city park. Time to start trying churches, though I had a feeling no one would be there on a Saturday.
Outside the Central United Methodist Church, I saw a couple hanging a banner and asked if there was a minister around. They called him for me, and yes, I could stay in the church. Then they started offering to drive me to the grocery store, let me shower at their place, and before you know it, I was staying with them for the night. Shower, laundry, they even took me out to dinner! A huge thank you to Ron and Margaret Enns of Dalhart, TX. You were truly a blessing.
from Pedal for Potatoes