Las Cruces, NM to El Paso, TX
Is it ever going to warm up again? We keep thinking that this cold blast is going to be over soon, but every night, especially, it is getting very cold. This morning at the campground we were at, our tent was covered in a thick frost. As we were getting out of the tent it started to melt, so we took the fly off and went inside the laundry room to eat breakfast. When we came back out, the fly had completely refrozen. The temp didn't get above freezing until almost 11 o'clock.
Once we got going, we were surprised to find extremely nice riding conditions between Las Cruces and El Paso. The majority of the riding was through pecan orchards and fields of cotton. The traffic was very minimal and we made very good time. There were many pecan boutique type stores along the way, and we wanted to stop in one and try some pecan treats, but unfortunately they were all closed. Once we got close to El Paso, the traffic really picked up and the shoulders disappeared. After riding in such deserted places basically from Mesa, AZ to here, it was very odd to be back in heavy traffic.
In order to reach the next campground we would have had to ride over 70 miles today, and after such a long day yesterday, we weren't too excited about that prospect. The only other options were either hotels, or a hostel. We called the El Paso International Hostel ahead of time and the price seemed ok. They had a room for $40 with one bed, but a bathroom in the hallway. We decided, once again, that we would give a hostel a shot. When we showed up, the hostel seemed fine. The lobby was nice enough and it had a unique older feel. I figured the room would be just fine after seeing the lobby, but we were not pleasantly surprised. The hallway to the room was dingy and smelled musty and smoky. When we opened the room it was immediately apparent that this wasn't what we were hoping for. The carpet probably hadn't been vacuumed for a few months. The dresser was almost crumbling to the ground, the sheets were stained and had many burn holes in them. The bedspread was probably from 1976 and it was very worn. Lets just say, it was dirty enough I (Greg) after working at a hotel, didn't even want to sit down or walk barefoot on the carpet. What is the point of hostels? If it is for the experience? It must be because they are not cheap. In retrospect, I would have gladly spent $10 more and had a bed that was clean enough that I would actually sleep in it, instead of using my sleeping bag. You can't blame us for not wanting to get hepatitis. For $10 more we could have stayed at a name brand hotel. Again, what is the point of a hostel?