Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Beeville Tx to Floresville Tx - March 11

59.5 miles in 6:15. They do things differently here in the lone star state. I just found out by watching the news the other day that they still paddle kids in school here. They are trying to get rid of it, but I did notice that everyone is very polite here. A good smack on the a€£, never hurt anyone. The other thing they do differently here, I'm not so fond of. We were told by Buggs, yesterday in Beeville, how crazy and dangerous today's stretch of US 181 was, and how many accidents and deaths there were. Now I understand why. We have noticed it before, but it was worse today. These crazy cowboys drive on the shoulders of the road, using them like an extra lane, to make a two lane road a three lane road. If someone sees a person coming up behind them, they pull over, full speed, onto the shoulder. When someone coming the other way sees this happen, they also pull over and drive full speed on their shoulder. This creates a 'passing lane,' right in the middle of the road! Big trucks seem to do it the most, but bubbas in their pickups get into the act also. Then there are the people from out of state that have no idea how to play the game, which screws everything up for the guys who do. As you can imagine, this makes it more stressful for me, a biker, who is used to having the shoulder to myself for the most part. And just to make it all happen a little faster, the speed limit is often 75 mph. And they are not really used to bicycles around here. Everyone did a good job seeing me today however with my neon orange jacket, and they were all very polite as they went by. They were polite because they got there a%% beat in school, probably, which brings us back to my first point about what they do differently here. It all works.
Today's trip was into a solid headwind, with wide shoulders most of the way (when they weren't being used as travel lanes. ) The scenery was pretty boring, with lots of cactus and hackberry trees ( I think)and scrub trees. All the creeks were dry, as this area has been in a drought for years, except for the San Antonio River, which was about as big as Chartiers Creek at home. The small towns I passed through were of similar make up, with the neat, old, downtowns, and pretty poor residential areas. Sometimes it was really hard to tell if people lived in the old mobile homes and regular homes, but I think many were occupied. There was a great share of abandoned buildings that they leave to get swallowed up by nature over the years. But, there are also some huge, beautiful homes on some of the ranches.There are also a lot of pop up RV parks that are for the oil industry workers. There were even some trailers set up by a company called Workforce Apartments, or something like that.
I noticed right away when I left this morning that the totally flat coastal areas that I'm used to riding are history. The terrain never stopped rolling, and we are now about 500-600 ft above sea level. The hills were sort of nice, even though the headwind really didn't let me roll on the downhills very much. Our campground is actually on the top of a hill, with a decent view.
I also tried a different technique today to protect my lips, which are deteriorating rapidly. I rode with a blue bandanna wrapped around my face, under my nose, sort of like a bandit. I got a few weird looks, but I probably would have gotten them without the bandanna. Tonight and tomorrow will tell if it kept them from getting worse.

Since we've been in Texas, we have been seeing washaterias! That's their name for a laundromat!

This was on the ranch next to our campground.

Gate to the ranch on the other side of our campground.

Close-up of the gate.

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