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Never Ending Hills

Hank – Today was a long day. We left Junction at 8:30 and it was chilly. We had one place to stop on our 57 or so mile trek to Sonora. That was Roosevelt, Texas population 14 about 20 miles into the trip. Surprisingly, Roosevelt has a store and a cafe. We ordered a big breakfast to keep us fueled for the next 40 miles.

The store has a post office in it and I had a couple of small packages to ship. It took a while because everything was done old school. The postmaster asked me brought me here from Spokane and I told him we were on a cycling adventure. “Oh, you must be Hank,” he says. He saw the name plates on our bikes.

The steep climb out of Roosevelt was a slap in the face. It didn’t get worse but it stayed bad the rest of the day. Then Kathy picked up a piece of wire in her front tire. One more flat to change. That must be 13 or 14 for her. Yesterday was my third or fourth. But while she was changing her tire I examined mine and found a couple of cuts in the sidewall if my front tire. I hadn’t noticed them before but then I haven’t looked in a long time either so I don’t know if they’re a day or a month old. I’m getting close to needing new tires anyway. Now I just have something else to worry about until I get them. After checking into our hotel I took the tire off and reinforced the inside of the cuts with a couple layers of duct tape.

The ride was mentally draining for me. Kathy was having a bad day and I felt bad for her. We’d slide down a short bit and then climb for a mile. Wash, rinse, repeat. What a relief to get to Sonora.

After cleaning up we had a nice dinner at a restaurant next door. Back at the room I reinforced my tire and patched the tube Kathy flatted today. Hopefully we both get a good night’s sleep.

Kathy – Today was a tough day for me. We started the day off in 38 degree temps with headwinds and sidewinds at 15 mph. It was sunny with clear blue skies, but pretty chilly. I started the day with frozen toes and hands, an upset stomach, and a sore bottom. The cold, winds, and constant elevation increases just added to the daily discomforts.

I am also really missing our children, other family members (on both Hank’s and my side) and all of our friends. I have a lot of family members and close friends birthdays recently and/or coming up. I feel like I am missing out on quality times with friend and family members while on this 17 month journey. I’m not only missing special birthday times but also other times with family and friends such as fun times together with simple conversations.

No matter how I tried to flip the day to a positive it didn’t work. I just wanted to cry, but crying meant cold tears running down my face while riding (and that’s not good) and having a runny nose (not good either while riding). So I tried really hard to breathe and think of other things. I didn’t cry but it didn’t change the sadness I felt throughout the day. It was also a tough 60 mile day of riding with all the elevation. We climbed all day.

Today was a beautiful sunny ride day (except for the cold, winds, and elevation) but I couldn’t get into the ride. We had noisy freeway traffic wizzing by us all day. The West Texas terrain consisted of high brown grass, lots of cactus, an occasional yellow rock formation, and a few green trees in the middle of a whole lot of nothing. We did have more than enough roadkill to smell (and dodge around) throughout the day. I synced my music to my hearing aids (via bluetooth at a low volume) to try to shake off the negative ride thoughts and the thoughts of missing family and friends. Didn’t work. I was more than happy to arrive at our destination after 6-8 hours of exercise today. Some days just aren’t fun. Hoping for a better day tomorrow.

A couple of notes… 

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here:  Current Locationwhere you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page  and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones.  Please look around to find this area).  Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like:  www.HankandKathyGreer.com

In The Verizon Dead Zone

Hank – Once we got close to Harper, Texas and since then on our way to Junction, Kathy and I have not had a workable cell signal. This is even when we stop next to cell towers. We asked some locals once we arrived in Junction and got a hotel room. “Are you on Verizon?” It turns out you have to be on AT&T for it to work in these parts. Everyone says it gets better as we move west but they don’t know when.

We packed up this morning and left Harper. We followed US Hwy 290 to Interstate 10. Interstate 10 provided wide shoulders and lots of shredded steel-belted tire debris. It’s easy to get the impression that all they do in Texas is shred tires on the highway. We were thinking about going as far as Roosevelt, Texas, which would have been a 57 mile ride. But the light rain and cool wind convinced us to pull up short in Junction. We ate at a BBQ joint while we discussed our options. We decided to get a room and do a long day tomorrow to Sonora. Tomorrow’s weather will be less cloudy and warmer.

I got a flat on Hwy 290. I think that’s number three for me. I’m pretty sure it was a small, sharp rock. When I tried it out it dropped and disappeared amongst its similarly colored brothers that make up the road. I swapped out the tube and we were back on the road in 10 minutes.

Kathy – Our 43 mile day was a chilly one. The temps were supposed to increase as the day went on, but it seemed to get even cooler as the rain sprinkled on us and the winds increased. It was a cloudy grey kinda day. Lot of hills welcomed us. Our first nine miles were uphill. It got better once we rode on the freeway where the hills were more long and gradual. We rolled along the entire way into Junction, Texas. I was pretty frozen due to the cold, wind and rain once we arrived.

We decided to get a bite to eat since we hadn’t eaten much today and discuss our options moving forward. If we ride to Roosevelt it would be 18 more miles and then figure out where we would sleep tonight. The town of Roosevelt does not have any camping or hotels. We decided to stay put tonight in a hotel in Junction since morning temps will be in the low 30’s. We cleaned up and did laundry so we are set for the next few days.

We kinda mapped out our next nine days until we arrive in El Paso, Texas because there are such limited resources for us along the way. We also have lots of elevation and limited cell phone coverage. We might have a few challenging days ahead of us…but we can do it. No camping is available near our scheduled stops so it looks like it will be hotel nights for a bit. Not sure about the future but right now we have internet in the hotel so we can post to our blog. Depending on location that could change.

A couple of notes… 

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here:  Current Locationwhere you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page  and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones.  Please look around to find this area).  Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like:  www.HankandKathyGreer.com