It's been an interesting ride to say the least. West Texas hills were some of our favorite riding, and are amazing in their remoteness; The scrubby desert is full of various browns- khaki brown, coffee brown, caramel brown, tan, dust, and oak brown. The vegetation is dark green and at most about the height of Emerson (approximately 7ft for those of you who don't know him). We often ride 50 or more miles with no services, no water sources, no signs of human existence other than the road we are on. After many Blue Ridge Parkway-style hills, you come through a small "town," which is an intersection with an almost-closed gas station. "Heck yes!" we say, never being so excited to come upon a burgeoning metropolis of 400 people. We don't care, we just need WATER. Without trees lining the road, there are mountain views for 360 degrees, and almost no traffic; It is a cyclist's dream, until the headwinds come!
The other day I was almost brought to tears. Kind of embarrassing, but I'll emphasize the word almost. The days previous we had done 70 miles, 65 miles, 70 miles, then 80 miles. Then I had a 55 mile, 8.5 hour ride, all uphill with steady steady headwinds, as I wondered, "who thought this cross country thing was a good idea?! bollocks! Ughhhhh" Well, the tears didn't come, I pulled it together, looked at the scenery and pedaled on. I realized even with headwinds that I am one lucky gal, and Emerson and I continue with our low-responsibility lives... :) Okay, low point documented to you all, and now moving on...
Entering the desert the other night, we rode into Seminole Canyon as the full moon and the sun shared the sky for a minute, then traded places. The bright pink and serene blues were pin pointed with diamond-like stars. Every single plant seem to have thorns, pricks, and needles sticking out from them, getting stuck on everything from our down jackets to our bicycles tires. The desert, we realize, is harsh. We've been cooking tacos in the full moon every night, watching it wax once again. Our favorites so far are: yellow pepper-cilantro-fried egg, and then mustard green-local pickled jalapenos tacos-rice-cheese. Yeah tacos!
In a few days of desert riding we've been slowly gaining elevation, and the plants up here are even cooler. There's more cacti and a wildflower called a "Buffalo Bur"!!!!And another called a "wooly paperflower." We got to see the "Law West of the Pecos" saloon/courtroom, and we've slept in one tiny guest house with Lady of Guadalupe paraphernalia EVERYWHERE. We stayed in Marathon, TX two nights in a hostel/farm/community (They let us stay inside for the price of camping - sweet!) We took a tour of the farm, with its various out building, gardens, dogs, chickens, art 'projects' strewn about, and general commune feel. Chilled out, and ate dinner with the folks that live there, concluded by a Queen dance party! Dancing in the desert to Bohemian Rapsohdy is pretty fun with clear skies and stars shining bright. Everything seemed to settle down when we decided to watch a movie on their projector, until one of the hostel workers/travellers came in with a newly-opened, nearly-empty bottle of rum, missing, of course, his pants. He sat down with us to watch the film, and Emerson finally had to walk him to his bed....Well, we tried to smooth that one over, and left early the next day to pick up our packages from the Marathon Post Office (thanks Emily for my headlamp, and to Douglas for the COOKIES!), and pedaled to Marfa, TX.
We got to Marfa last night, and it is is cool, hip, full of art, and neat eats. Last night I rolled in to find Emerson waiting for me at the Beer Garden, which was closed! BUT, what do you know, he'd met the owners outside and they bought us a beer each. Oh yeah. Later today we'll climb up to 6,800 ft elevation to the McDonald Observatory; we'll try to gaze at the cosmos in the darkest sky on the clearest night. If we see aliens we will totally let you know.
cheers, chanting, chilliness, and chorizo to you,
Hollie and Emerson
|our typical kitchen scene|
|Texas history in short.|
|Sister Creek winery. Lunch time winery tour!|
|Hill Country. We are so high up.|
|A touch of fall. This one's for you, Doug Parker.|
|Cheese-stuffed jalapeno with bacon wrapped around it. You know it.|
|Desert sun rise. Beautiful.|
|My buddy on my front rack. "Yee Haw!" he says|
|spikes. watch yourself.|
|Saguaro! Actually native to AZ and CA|
|Texas sky. very big.|
|cactus: the Langtry Rainbow|