Thursday, January 14, 2010
Sierra Blanca to Van Horn, TX
Sierra Blanca to Van Horn, TX
We have been living off of our bikes for long enough now, are standards have, just maybe, gone down too far. We are starting to wonder if we seem like bums, you know, homeless people. First off, there is the fact that we basically wear the same clothes everyday. That is because we don't have an option. We only have a few different items with us. We also tend to be a bit smelly, or at least disheveled looking. We can only take showers when we have the option, so sometimes it is 3-4 days before we get a shower and we sweat a lot. To top this off, we camp in places that most other people might not feel comfortable camping, and this is usually because we don't have any options. We have gotten used to camping anywhere.
Case in point: We camped at the town park in Sierra Blanca, which was a nice little park, but it also seemed to serve as the playground for the schools that were across the street. On the other side of the street next to the town park was the county courthouse. But we camped here despite the public's view of our campsite. When we went to find bathrooms, we found that the city park bathrooms were locked and closed and in this town (pop. 550) there wasn't much for options beyond the park bushes. If nature came calling in a more dramatic fashion in which Leave no Trace would surely be violated, we had to render ourselves to the use of plastic bags for disposal. If this is too descriptive and plain gross for you, then do ignore, but I feel it is worth noting, because this is how we must live from time to time. I doubt many of you would be very comfortable crouching in city park bushes and doing your business in a plastic bag, but we sometimes you have no options.
Then this morning when we went to the little restaurant in town, the waitress asked us if we had spent the night in Sierra Blanca. We replied “yes” and she asked where we stayed. We replied the city park before we even realized that this might sound a bit odd. She sort of replied “oh ok” and asked if we were cold. After this, we realized that many people must think we are homeless if they haven't noticed our touring bikes.
Once we left Sierra Blanca, we found a very nice frontage road to ride on next to the interstate. There was one slight up hill, but mostly the riding was flat. About halfway through the ride, the wind switched directions to a headwind due to a low pressure system moving in behind us that was supposed to bring in rain. A few miles outside of Van Horn we crossed, for the first time this trip, into the Central Time Zone. We made it to Van Horn and stopped for some ice cream at Dairy Queen. We just could not resist. We found an RV park and took some showers and again were able to live civilly for a night. The rain storm finally caught up with us and it sprinkled off and on last night as we did some chores and made dinner. Tomorrow is supposed to be much cooler, and a higher chance of rain. After that, sunshine and warmer temperatures are supposed to prevail.