Saturday, January 23, 2010
Del Rio to Camp Wood, TX
Last night I did not sleep well. You have probably been reading our blog long enough to know that we share with you our trials and tribulations, even if they are not always pleasant, like the park in Sierra Blanca. I was up most of the night with intense abdominal pain and could not sleep, so I did some research online in the tent without waking Greg. I am almost certain I have a urinary tract infection. Now lets be honest, this is not too hard to believe when we ride our bike for long hours each day and don't get to shower every night, and so on. I took some cranberry pills last night to combat this, if it is what I think it is. My plan of action is to drink as much water as I possibly can, take cranberry pills and see if it improves. If I do improve, great, if not, I will get some antibiotics at the next big town, probably Kerrville. I hope this goes away soon because, as many people probably know, it is really no fun at all, and even less fun to deal with while traveling by bicycle.
On the way out of town today we stopped at the store we love and love to hate, Wal-Mart. I needed some more cranberry pills, and when I was picking them out, Greg was in the sporting goods section and found a folding slingshot for just under $7. When he showed me I was absolutely ecstatic at the prospect of owning this fine weaponry with which to fend off any future raccoons, dogs, or alligators who try to attack or raid the food cache.
We had a nice ride to Brackettville, where we happened upon the very first touring cyclists we had seen since southern California. Amazing! Their names are Sundance and Yana and they are a couple of Aussies finding their way back home from Ontario to Australia by way of bicycle. They also have a blog which can be found at www.meanderingmarsupials.blogspot.com. We had a great time chatting with them and showing off our new slingshot. I am so glad we could share that with them, because we really had a blast. We were shooting rocks and bottlecaps all over the park in Brackettville. Greg took his first shot with the slingshot and made a fine dent in the parking sign. We all couldn't believe the aim! We are both around the 3,000 miles mark but we have been traveling quite differently. Sundance and Yana mostly stay at people's homes along the way, often in the yard, which they call “turf-surfing.” They also have been selecting their route as they go, stopping to see what they are interested in, instead of following a specific route. Their bikes were also set up very differently, with each of them riding a mountain bike with rear rack and panniers, some smaller gear on the handlebars, and wearing backpacks. One thing we have learned along the way is that everyone has their own style of touring and we says cheers to whatever works best for each person. Its great to see every tourists unique way of riding across the country. We enjoyed our time with Sundance and Yana so much that we ended up taking over two hours to hang out.
When we headed out to complete the next 48 miles of the day it was about 4:00PM . The road traversed gentle rolling hills and had very little traffic, so we felt just fine about riding at night. I really started to get tired at about 70 miles. We had been riding for a while in the dark and gotten a good scare when dogs ran out from nearby houses and barked and chased us. I was so relieved when we finally saw the sign for the Big Oaks River Camp. The woman at the park told us they had a cyclist discount and again it would be only $10, with showers in a nice clean bathroom. It had been really windy most of the day, except right at dusk. Now it was beginning to pick up again with a vengeance. The wind was so strong that it blew our gear off the picnic table, buckled in our tent, and forced dust particles though the mesh in our tent so that everything was covered with a fine dust. We got into the tent and the wind absolutely howled outside, all night, with a few short calm spells. I know because I was, again, awake for at least half of the night. Between the howling wind and pain from the UTI, I didn't get a whole lot of rest and morning came to soon.
Also, another exciting tidbit for today, we passed the halfway mark for the Southern Tier Bike Route and our total mileage has come to about 3,251 miles.