Sanderson, TX

rays of sunrise
I left La Loma del Chivo in the early morning to beat the heat.
egyptian cotton pillowcase
I went to the French Grocery to get a sandwich for the road, since there would be no services all day. A local photographer sells shirts and other items in the store with his pictures of local desert wildlife. I seriously considered getting a pillowcase, as I know several people who would be impressed by it.
spider napkin
Or maybe just a napkin.

Knowing that there would be no services all day, I ate a good breakfast at the Oasis Cafe (aka Johnny B’s). After stuffing myself, I used the bathroom at the restaurant, then went out to my bike. I felt just slightly funny, so thought it prudent to go and use the bathroom another time. Didn’t actually hit the road until 9:20 am.

In the morning, I found myself dodging lots of these 8-inch millipedes crawling across the shoulder. There was also a smaller, 3-inch black variety, and the occasional beetle. I didn’t hit a single one.
javelina carcass
I saw lots of vultures in the air, but they weren’t interested in this carcass, which had already been picked clean and dried out. Rib bones were scattered about the area as if someone had just had a barbecue. There was one fang left on the jaw, so I took it as a souvenir.
first picnic area
Texas seems to call their rest stops “picnic areas.” I came upon this one at 11:20. Picnic areas have a trash can, but no water or restroom. Come to think of it, they’re not rest areas, after all. I took out my lunch. The French Grocery makes good sandwiches. Whole wheat bread they bake themselves, ham and cheese, big piece of lettuce, grape tomato and half a jalapeno wrapped separately. Mustard and mayo in packets, so the sandwich doesn’t get all soggy.

After lunch, the road was very slightly downhill, but as I crossed from Brewster into Pecos county, the shoulder became rougher, so I actually had to pedal to keep from stopping. Terrell county was about the same.

second picnic area
I stopped at this second rest area 10 miles before Sanderson. The plants outside reminded me of the evil tentacles in Diablo Lord of Destruction.
This rest area had a stile going over the barbed wire fence, into the desert. My guess was that it was for people who really needed to go to the bathroom, and wanted privacy.

A couple miles down the road, I started to think about that stile at the last rest stop. I was feeling like I might have to go, but thought I might last the 10 miles into Sanderson. 5 miles out of Sanderson, I realized I wasn’t going to make it, so pulled over into the desert to go. I just picked a flat area on the sand shielded minimally by some bushes to go #2. When I was done, I noticed that 4 desert dung beetles had already been attracted to the pile, and were trying to roll balls. Sorry, no picture.

red bird
This unidentified red bird was a little further down the road. I hadn’t seen any others like it on the whole trip.
upper Sanderson
The business district of Sanderson is about 2 miles long, divided into 3 sections. This area, which I call Upper Sanderson, has the Stripes gas station, Outback Oasis motel across the street, and Desert Air motel next to that. No one seemed to be staying at the Desert Air, and the Outback was on the ACA map, so I checked in there. Reasonably priced.
I met Brian outside the Stripes gas station. He was going east-to-west on the same route, but at a much faster pace than me. He had only been on the road a month, starting from Naples, Florida. He warned me that there were no services on the road behind him until Comstock, as the stores at Dryden and Langtry were closed. Very useful information. That also meant that he had eaten nothing but snacks all day. I went back into the gas station store with him, where we got some food, and sat at the tables.

Brian told me that the hills east of Del Rio were killers, and that he had actually walked his bike at one point. That’s my future, a few days from now. He asked about spacing of services west of this area, and I warned him about the Fort Davis to Van Horn wilderness.

downtown Sanderson
This is typical of downtown Sanderson. Every single store with food (restaurants and markets) seemed out of business and for sale.
lower Sanderson
This is the far edge of town, dominated by Dairy King, a gas station, and Budget Inn (not visible). Dairy King is closed from 2-5 pm, but I got there at 6 for dinner.
dairy king menu
Looks like they specialize in Mexican food from their own recipes, so I got a plate.
I was not disappointed. This dinner was as tasty as the one in Marathon the night before, but less than 1/3 the price. And more filling. Besides the 2 enchilada plate with an egg on top, I got the largest chocolate malt.

I found that the seam in my left pannier is starting to tear. Actually, the seam was just glued, and was coming apart, probably from all the stress of the 1-gallon jug of water. I will attempt repair tonight with E6000 glue (glad I kept it).

Goal for tomorrow is Langtry, TX. As Brian warned me, no services, but it should be possible to camp behind the visitor’s center, where there is water and a bathroom. It’s 62 miles – a 100k. I hope to leave in the cool of the morning.

Miles today: 60.4

(Visited 163 times, 1 visit(s) today)
    1. More likely I just overstuffed that pannier. I’m going to stick with the 1/2 gallon plan. Cyclists coming the other way tell me that services are spaced closer together east of here.

    1. Hey, Brian. I’ve run into several people who encountered you, earlier, such as the owner of Pasta Bella in Fredericksburg. Also, a surprising number of middle-aged women who told me that another cyclist had been through a week or two ago, with a beard, and ripped.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.