Monthly Archives: May 2017

Van Horn, TX

Today was supposed to be short and easy. But there were no services until the final destination, so I made sure to eat a good breakfast at Delfinas’s Restaurant. The menu was in Spanish, but I was able to make out “Special Breakfast,” which I ordered.

Eggs, 3 bacon, sausage, potato hash, 2 slices toast. I finished it all.
frontage road
Today’s route included perhaps 20 miles of frontage road. It was kind of nice, because the freeway made me feel like I had company, but I was separated from the actual traffic. I saw only two cars on the frontage road all day.
drainage channel
My rear wheel started to thump, and I realized that I had another flat. I pumped air into it, then took a bathroom break in a patch of gravel near the water drainage channels under the freeway. The channels are huge – big enough to walk a bike through if one wanted to get to the other side. Those would have made a good place to camp, except for the whole flash flood danger thing. By the time I got back to the bike, the tire was flat again.
fixing flat
Okay, unload everything, change the tube. Fortunately, it was overcast and not hot.
fixed bike
30 minutes later.
central time
I just lost an hour.

I got into Van Horn at 2:20 CT, having set my clocks ahead an hour. For some reason, there was an insane number of motels in town. I counted 15 on my side of the freeway alone, as I cruised the boulevard looking for a good choice. I actually did NOT want breakfast, but other than that, was looking for something humble and inexpensive.

american owned
I wasn’t sure what to make of “American Owned.” Skipped this one.
Mountain Trail
Apparently, my route is part of the Texas Mountain Trail. Translation: climbing.
I stopped at this store because of the welcome cat. Trying the coffee flavored popsicle. Not bad, but costs more than the fruit ones.

Noting the proximity of the town’s only supermarket, I chose Motel 6. The woman at the desk gave me the senior discount, even though I truthfully answered that I was 59 and change.

motel 6 room
They gave me the handicap room, which was fine. Very basic – no microwave, refrigerator, or coffee maker. All I really need is the wi-fi and some power outlets.
air conditioner
I decided to cool my beverages on the outlet port of the air conditioner.

I later went to Cafe Aslan, a church-affiliated nonprofit coffee place. An iced coffee was just $1.89. Ron and his family had moved to Van Horn 3 months ago to run the place. He said that the Value Inn was probably the cheapest place, aside from the free Christian Shelter.

In the evening, I had steak at Cattlemen’s restaurant, the closest thing. Then I went back to my room to patch the leaking tubes.

cement dried out
Bad surprise. The cement in the patch kit is dried out, and more like a piece of rubber than a liquid.

Because of Central Time, it was later than the sun would indicate. Most regular stores were closed, including the hardware store. Dollar General was open, but had neither bicycle patch kits nor rubber cement. I got E6000 glue, hoping that it might serve.

clamp glue
I’m attempting to glue a patch on with E6000 glue that I bought at Dollar general. In theory, it takes 24 hours to cure. The tube kept rolling off the flat patch, so I clamped it with 2 clothespins and a quarter. I’m leaving the other punctured tube untouched. I will dry-patch it if I have to. But I’ll be on the lookout for rubber cement for the next few days.

Tomorrow’s goal is Fort Davis, which is 90 miles away, including many climbs, with no services along the way. It will be the hardest planned day so far. I have enough supplies to road camp partway if need be, but given the possibility of night thunderstorms, I’d rather not.

Miles today: 39.6