Del Rio 2, TX

I’m taking an extra rest day in Del Rio, even though it’s not Sunday.

Texas Waffle
The motel had free breakfast with waffles I’m roughly pointing to my position in Texas at the moment.
Walmart run
As my friend Julie advised, Walmart has everything for travelers.

I got an extra tube and patch kit. Box of ziploc bags for 97 cents. 64 oz rectangular jug of grapefruit juice, which will become my new water jug. Campho-Phenique for mosquito bites. I was hoping for After Bite original formula, the one with anhydrous ammonia. That burned like crazy when you put it on, but really stopped the itch. New formula After Bite is just baking soda.

And most importantly, I got cash back from my debit card, as I was down to maybe $3 of cash. Cash is important for tips (like for housekeeping), campsite rentals, and donations. Chase bank doesn’t like to put branches anywhere except big cities (Del Rio is too small with population 40k), so I’ve been getting cash back when stores offer it. And it’s only in larger towns like this one that there are such stores.

Del Rio neighborhood
A neighborhood ih Del Rio. This could very well be Date Street in Honolulu.
Lakeside Sports
There’s one thing that Walmart didn’t have – a good set of touring tires. So I stopped at Lakeside Sports, the bike shop in Del Rio.

I was wrestling with whether to change tires at all. The back tire, which bore most of the weight, still had a hint of the inner wear indicators. It probably could have lasted until Austin. The front tire might well have lasted another thousand miles. By my reckoning, I had gone about 2400 miles at that point. But I remembered what I wrote in 1988 – change tires after 2500 miles, no matter what. I remembered what it was like to have a tire split, and have to limp along to the next bike shop. My anguish was that I really hated to waste perfectly good tires, but ultimately decided to get new tires. I bought two Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (none finer for long distance touring) for about $60 each. I left my Gatorskins with the shop, saying that they might still have a few miles on them.

gatorskin wear indicators
The front tire might still have a thousand miles on it, judging by the wear indicators. The inner wear indicators on the back tire were almost completely gone. Note that these are slick tires, so intentionally have no tread.
whataburger
One of the lunch possibilities was this place with the Wonder Woman insignia. Another was a place called “Oriental Cuisine,” but I would have been going there just to see how bad it was.
Sirloin Stockade
I wanted vegetables, so went to Sirloin Stockade. They had a special of 6 oz steak, salad bar, and drink for $8.99. Would have been $7.39 if I were a few months older.
salad bar
The slightly browned lettuce would have been disqualified from a California salad bar. But I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t like to waste things, anyway. It was fine.
Their prepared salads were tasty. Better than what I normally have.
mexican spaghetti
There were the usual fried items like fish, chicken, and shrimp, but I found one unusual dish – what I call Mexican Spaghetti. It has no tomato, but a cheesy sauce with a bell pepper taste. The meat is chicken.
laundry day
I went to the lobby to ask whether there was a laundry room, and the owner let me use the washer and dryer free. So I was just lounging in my room during the afternoon, catching up on the blog.
golden dragon
Walked back to see if Golden Dragon was open for dinner. It was rated 4.5/5.0 stars. A real hole-in-the-wall. Dinner was something like $6.59..
mexican stand
In the parking lot next to Golden Dragon was a Mexican Stand with agua frescas. I got some lemonade to go with dinner.
chinese dinner
Back at the motel room, I opened my dinner. Came with 2 shoyu packets, fortune cookie, hot and sour soup (not that hot, and not that sour), a fried won ton (seemed like cream cheese filling if you ask me), rice, and main dish of lemongrass chicken. Not outstanding food, but a definite value.

Tomorrow, I hit the road again. Destination Brackettville, just 30 miles away. But I’m not taking that lightly. There is a steep climb on the way, and it could be hot. I’ll try to leave early, but the free breakfast will bind me here. In the extremely unlikely event that I get to Brackettville early and feel super strong, I could go another 50 miles to Camp Wood. Really unlikely. That 50 miles includes two steep climbs, the ones where Brian said he walked his bike. I will likely attack that the next day, or the day after that, if I stay in Brackettville for church on Sunday.

Realistically, since I have money, I will not be camping in the near future unless the weather gets cooler, or there are no motels.

Miles today: 4.5

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