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Since I lost an hour it was colder and darker in the morning. Before leaving the hotel I had one more idea for what may be ailing the CycleAnalyst. Last summer I had a connector put in the wire that goes from the unit to the controller. This way I could split the wire when I needed to take the seat off instead of taking the whole unit apart. All I did was unplug and replug the wire. When I turned on the motor everything was fine. The Cycle Analyst showed 1 watt as it should when idle. I rode on 20 miles to a travel center in Plateau and everything was working as if there had never been a problem. How easy was that? I searched for e-bike stores and there are a few in Austin. I'll have someone look everything over when I get there. Plateau was a real treat of the 'authentic' kind. This was basically just a gas station stop in the middle of nowhere. It was expensive and catered to drivers that didn't plan ahead. Some of the drivers were loudly expressing anger at paying $3.60 for regular. I went into the bathroom and found that a particularly angry woman was trying to get back at them by leaving the hot water running and not flushing the toilet. She had also poured water on the floor. What a mess and it felt like a really poor thing to do. She had Texas plates and I was surprised she didn't know the roads better. Who knows, maybe she is always like this.
I ordered a cup of coffee and used the wifi while charging up the batteries. There was a crazy looking van and car driver parked. Willie was used to having his picture taken and said he has a website. Soon I continued on. The next town was Kent where I thought there was a gas station and mercantile. Nothing was open and Kent is essentially a ghost town on the tracks. The mercantile had been closed for years. I used the loading dock of the old post office to make my lunch.
It was a warm day and I was riding in shorts and sandals. The landscape was barren grazing land and not very interesting. 70 miles is a huge day for me and I arrived in Balmorhea exhausted. This is a small, quiet town a couple of miles off the interstate. There are only 500 people that live here and the town has 3 hotels. I had made a reservation at the Eleven Inn which has eleven rooms. The owner, David, is a very laid back guy and was eager to make my stay as comfortable as possible. A lot of cross-country cyclists stop here. He offered help to find what ever I needed. He also gave me a big handful of oranges and apples. I got checked in for $50. The Eleven Inn is a bit run down but has appealing character.
Van Horn to Balmorhea, TX
Old truck in a front yard.
Crazy cars in Plateau, TX
Schoolhouse ruins in Kent.