Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Friday, April 11, 2014

Portales, NM to Hereford, Texas April 3

74.01 miles in 4:21....What a crazy, memorable ride it was today! We woke up with forecasts of cooler temperatures (50's and 60's) and some crazy winds  (gusting to 55 mph.) I had an out, if it was too terrible, because the town of Clovis, NM was only 17 miles north of us, and I could pull the plug on the days ride there. I headed north, with a west wind blowing at 20-30, on US 70, and even though I was getting blown around, I wasn't losing any speed because of headwind. I decided that when I turned east in Clovis, I would be getting a great push from the west wind. I stopped and called Pam, who was waiting for the word. I told her we were rolling, so she left Portales, with some concern about how the wind would effect the high profile RV, pulling a high profile Jeep.
When I got to Clovis, the dust and dirt really started to blow, and I could see the resulting brown skies in all directions, but hey, I had a tailwind! The tailwind was blowing at about 40 mph by now, and as I turned east, US 70 picked up US 60, another transcontinental route, which we will be taking for the majority of the trip through the Midwest. As I rode about 8-9 miles to the town of Texico, where I finally left US 70, I was noticing tumbleweeds blowing everywhere. This area is big for the production of cheese, and I saw a huge cheese factory before I left New Mexico, and there was a lot of cattle and dairy production, until I crossed the Texas state line. Then it was all about beef. The cattle farms and feeding factories were everywhere, as well as grain elevators that were so big that if it wasn't for the dust, I could have seen from 20 miles away. As I rode, tumbleweeds were getting jammed in my tires and on my legs. Tumbleweeds were getting blown up by trucks when they hit them. Tumbleweeds were blowing across the green fields of grass growing for cattle feed. Tumbleweeds were passing me up, and I was going 20-25 mph. The dust was everywhere, and there were times when visibility was just about zero. The camera really didn't do justice to the dust that I was seeing, but I have a pretty good idea now what Dorothy and Toto went through, and I have a pretty good idea what it must have been like in the Dust Bowl days, but hey, I had a tailwind!
US 60 parallels railroad tracks, and I saw many trains riding right along next to me. Most of them had between 100 -130 cars, and 4-6 engines pulling or pushing them. Most were carrying tractor trailer type carriers, but one train was a coal train. As I blew into Hereford, I started seeing the signs stating that it was the beef capital of the world. Judging by all the beef processing plants, I would say that could be true. The funny thing was a town called Friona, Texas, which was half way between Clovis, NM, the cheese capital, and Hereford, the beef capital. It had a sign at the edge of town calling itself the cheeseburger capital of Texas.
This is the second night in a row we will be staying in a Walmart parking lot, which is okay because we have our new solar panels, but the money we save is going to go for a good Texas steak dinner.

Huge grain elevator in Portales, NM

Train yard in Portales

Texico, Texas

Texas state line - we are now in the central time zone

We saw a lot of grain elevators and train tracks

Welcome (back) to Texas!

Dust storm in the distance (the light colored part under the blue)

Hereford is the beef capital of the world!

Dust is everywhere

Halfway between Portales (the cheese capital) and Hereford (the beef capital) is Friona the CHEESEBURGER capital of the world!!!

The dust is blowing ahead

Cattle feed mill

Cows playing "King of the Hill"!!

The old drive-in is now cow pasture!

Arriving in Hereford
This is how Mike rode today!

This is the dust storm thru the windshield of the motor home.  I was sitting at a pullout, waiting for Mike to come along and I videoed the storm.  It doesn't look too bad, but about 5 minutes later when I went to pull out, visibility dropped to about 100 yards at max!

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