The roads were pretty smooth, for Texas chip seal. The scenery was boring for some, I have been told, but I am still enjoying the prickly pear cactus, mesquite and huisache trees. The land was dotted with ranch entrances, that looked like they went to nowhere. They were goat and sheep ranches, because the land is too dry and barren for cattle or crops. There were memorials to fallen border patrol agents and historical markers of towns, long ago abandoned, and some just hanging on, still. I have been stopping to read each plaque lately, unlike in earlier rides. I ran into six guys, heading the opposite direction, the first of what I have heard is a very busy route for bicyclists. They were from Iowa, but had flown to San Diego to do a ride to St. Augustine, Fla. We shared some notes and some Gatorade, and I was on my way. I was stopped by the sheriff in Bracketville, as the six riders told me I would be, and warned about riding in the tire tracks that were smoother than the chip seal shoulders. It was a friendly warning, probably prompted by a phone call about the six guys who weren't doing a good enough job getting out of the way of traffic. One of the guys was whining excessively about the bad roads and traffic when we were talking, so I think I put the rest of the story together about why I got stopped.
As I rolled into Del Rio, I wish I could have enjoyed the scenery more, but I was starting to get pretty damn weak. The heat started affecting me right after I saw Pam, and it didn't help that the wind changed directions, and my last 30 miles were into the wind, complete with the dust that was blowing up with it. When I got into town I called Pam, to find out where we were staying, and she must have noticed that I didn't sound good. The pedals were getting more and more difficult to push, and with three miles left, she pulled up to me in the Jeep. I didn't argue, and took a ride to the campground. Three more miles into a headwind sounded like more than I could do. I did not realize how much I was being drained. When I weighed myself, I found that I had lost thirteen pounds over the last two days. I spent the evening with my legs, especially my inner thighs, cramping every time I tried to stand up. I had taken a real butt kicking over the least two days of over 90 degrees, so we decided to spend an extra day in Del Rio and sight see while I regrouped. Sunday, I attended the Del Rio Cowboy Church that was held in the all purpose building at our campground. It was non-denominational, and it was old school church! The pastor was dressed in boots, blue jeans, cowboy shirt AND his cowboy. Every time he said "Let us pray" he would take off his hat and hold it over his heart! We sang old hymns accompanied by a guitar and a steel guitar. Mike missed all the fun by going to mass!!
Sunday, the next day, was a day to sight see, as we took a tour a Seminole Canyon State Park, to walk down into a canyon and see some ancient pictographs drawn on the walls of the canyons 4000 years ago. We also took the Jeep to some areas of Amistad National Recreation Area, which is a huge lake formed in many canyons by damming the Rio Grande. The water was down about 30-40 feet from capacity, but the place is still huge, and the water is clear, beautiful, and deep. After a day of relaxation, I was rehydrated, and ready to roll.
|Radio tower? Or else the world's largest golf ball - not sure.|
|Just some Texas art.....|
|??? Not really sure|
|At Seminole Canyon, looking down from visitors center|
|Hiking down into Seminole Canyon|
|On the floor of the canyon|
|Look in the center of the picture - this is a 4000 year old pictograph.|
|Just a cool rock|
|Fossils in the rock|
|More fossils - this proves that Texas was covered by ocean a long, long time ago|
|Starting to get flowers.....|
|Pump and watering hole at visitor center|
|Of course on the Seminole Canyon hike, Mike had to climb down and check out the old windmill and spring.|
|On our way to Amistad Dam, we took the dirt ranch road that paralleled Hwy 90!|
|You can only drive partway across the Amistad Dam breast because you hit the Mexican border! This is the border station.|
|And if you want to cross after 6pm, you are out of luck!!|
|After all of our sight seeing, we went to eat at a Mexican restaurant (in Del Rio, TX of course) and Mike posed with his friend Jose!|
|Then he had to have a margarita!!!! HAHA|