Fabens, TX

I checked out of the hostel, today.  Unfortunately, this hostel didn’t have the crowds of people I usually meet.  It was more like a hotel, with 2 rooms that had bunk beds. At least it was economical.

James at the front desk was sociable He actually has experience as a cook, and would like to open his own place, once he can improve his finances. He wants to serve reasonably-priced food so that people will come back often. When you open the place, let me know!
telephone booth
The lobby’s telephone booth was a good place to lean my bike as I brought down the bags in several trips. By now, you may have noticed that I keep wearing the same $10 yellow shirt from Grocery Outlet. The long sleeves are just so convenient at keeping the sun off me. I got out of there at about 8:10 am.
what is it?
I saw this large metal structure next to the highway. Any guesses as to what it is?

There was construction, so I had to detour, and got lost.  Wasted 4.5 miles trying to find Delta Rd again.  Learning: in Google Maps, a thin blue line is not the route, it could be an irrigation ditch.

big 5 again
I had to go off-route to get to the only Big 5 near El Paso. The reason was that I needed freeze-dried meals to keep with me, in case I got caught in one of those long stretches without services. But why must the Big 5 be at the top of a steep hill?
Mexican prices
Back down on Loop Rd, there were little stores with bargain prices (the Mexican border is only a stone’s throw from parts of the route in this area). I saw haircuts advertised for $5.
carpet on road
This roll of carpet was lying in the road, and cars were going around it. I thought about being a good citizen and moving it to the side, but could not find a good place to lean my bike. It’s also not certain whether I could drag such a large piece – I might have had to try rolling it. I decided to leave it alone. Hopefully someone will call the police.

There was an almost constant headwind of 5 to 10 mph all the way to Fabens. At times, the wind gusted to maybe 25 mph. I’m learning that the way to deal with wind is just to keep pedaling at the same power output, gear down to a natural cadence, accept the speed, and let the wind cool me. My stretch goal was Fort Hancock, another 23 miles away, but I decided that Fabens would do.  I had popsicles at two different stores in town, then went 2 miles off-route to the motel, which was at the top of a hill.

papaya shake
Next to the motel was La Estrella restaurant. I had checked into the motel at 2:45, and had a late lunch at maybe 3:30. This is a papaya shake. I’m hoping it boosts my immunity to whatever is biting me.
Texas-size iced tea
3 Taco plate, $7.99 . And a Texas-sized iced tea. I actually got a refill on the iced tea, as the day was hot and dry.
Fabens Inn Motel
This is the Fabens Inn motel where I’m staying. The sky was clear blue when I arrived, but as you can see in this later picture, clouds are gathering.
king bed
The King bed was big enough for me to lie crosswise on. This is not my riding shirt, by the way, but the one that I got in Las Cruces.
USB outlet
Another handy feature is USB power on the outlet. I’m charging both phones, here.

The weakness of this motel was internet speed. I was unable to even run an Ookla speed test. A Google test clocked 0.020/0.300 Mbps as the speed. That’s right, the download speed is 20 kbps. There were other guests on, no doubt, but please.

I have not been able to find what’s biting me, but I have welts all over that are very slow to heal. Normally, mosquito bites go away in 30 to 60 minutes for me. Not these. The bites seem to be in areas not covered by clothing, so I suspect flying insects, rather than fleas or bedbugs. Really annoying. I’m putting on repellent, and it seems to help, but not completely.

I’m not sure which is worse, slow internet, or biting insects.

recyclables in Texas trash
I went by a recycling place that posted they paid 50 cents a pound for aluminum cans. This is probably why there are so many cans, glass, and plastic bottles on the road, and in the trash. Texas is definitely different.

I saw a flash in the early evening, and then the thunderstorm started.  Glad I’m not camping tonight.  The rain was coming down in sheets.

The DirecTV went out for a while. The internet went down, too. It occurred to me that in this isolated location, maybe satellite internet is the best they can do, which would explain why both went out at once.

When the internet came up again, on the weather forecast, it said thunderstorm tonight, isolated T-storms for the next few days.  Hopefully there will be enough of a break to ride in. This is the first hard rain on the whole trip. We’ll see if my waterproof panniers are worth all the inconvenience, now.

Weather report also says wind directly in my face all day long tomorrow at 9-10 mph.

Miles today: 38.3

(Visited 113 times, 1 visit(s) today)
  1. I don’t know where your route leads you (through TX), but I can tell you that Austin gets a fair amount of rain (and thunderstorms) this time of year. I hope that you stay safe, and dry, and don’t have any encounters with tornadoes!

    1. It’s pre-dawn here, and as I look out the motel window, the ground is dry. Amazing, considering how heavy the rain was last night. As for tornadoes, the foolish tourist in me hopes I see one, but that’s like the idiot who stood on the beach when all the locals were running to higher ground. Wisdom says to do as the locals do.

      1. It’s warm, so Texas rain dry up fast unless drainage is overwhelmed and it floods. Many houses don’t have gutters because they can’t handle sudden volume, so water just sheets off the roofs. I think the weather is also partly why we hardly ever saw anyone biking or running — most of the day is uncomfortably hot and humid, and you don’t to be caught in a downpour or be a lightning rod in a thunderstorm.

        1. Conveniently, it turned out to be dry again today, although cloudy. As soon as I checked into a motel, I heard thunder. Maybe the clouds will drop all their water overnight, again? I saw some low points in the road covered with gravel and sand (had to walk the bike), so it does look like there were active washes overnight.

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