Sierra Blanca, TX

Sierra Blanca. Sounds like it might be in altitude, doesn’t it? That was my goal for today. I had breakfast at La Estrella, and left at 7:40 am. A 10 mph wind (in my face most of the time) was forecast, so it wouldn’t be hot. The main concerns would be distance, and spacing of stops.

black gnats
I had to put on my sunglasses for the first couple hours, because there were gnats that kept hitting me in the face. I had to keep my mouth closed, too. Here are a few sticking to the sunscreen on my leg.
watch for ice
Seriously?
water gauge
A low point in the road. I absolutely believe that these flood, because I saw gravel swept across the road at other low points today.
beehives
These beehives were in the middle of nowhere. No pastures, no farmland nearby.
tiger truck stop
The Tiger Truck stop was an oasis in the desert. It had been more than 20 miles of riding into headwind to get there, and it was about 20 miles after until the next services. I had lunch there – Asado de Puerca plate for $7.69. I declined the chips and salsa. The plate lunch would be enough for the final leg to Sierra Blanca.
i-10 to frontage road
Just after the truck stop, the route entered I-10. No problems there, mild uphill, very wide shoulder, smooth and clear of debris. On the right just ahead is the gravel I had to cross to get to the frontage road.
The frontage road was not as smooth as I-10, and it probably would have been easier riding on the interstate. There was almost no traffic on the frontage road.
One plus of the frontage road was that I encountered Katie going the other way. She was on a 12-month odyssey that started in her native England. She began the Southern Tier in New Orleans, in March. If you look carefully, you may notice some Mardi Gras beads on her bike. On a budget, she did a lot of warmshowers.org and staying with friends. We exchanged tips on the roads ahead for each other. She recommended a hostel in Marathon, and Big Bend National Park. Katie’s goal for the day was Fort Hancock, which I thought was ambitious, as it was already 4 pm.
Americana Inn Motel
I was so glad to reach the Americana Inn Motel in Sierra Blanca. Only $50 including tax, and the room was big and clean. And the internet download speed seems to be 3 Mbps – relativistic compared to the last place.
I went to the gas station behind the auto shop here for pizza and beverages. Shortly thereafter, the thunder began. Rain tonight?

The forecast for tomorrow is PM thunderstorms. But I have a short day, only about 35 miles to Van Horn, which is at the edge of the 90-mile stretch bereft of services.

Miles today: 69.2

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