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With at least 70 miles ahead of me I should have made a bigger effort to get going in the morning but the hotel owners at the America's Best Value Inn were such sweeties I had to indulge their wish for photos with Myrtle. I enjoyed staying at this hotel and we chatted for quite awhile. Turns out the velomobile guy, John Abbey, that I met in Tucson had stayed here. David, the owner, remembered helping John get the Quest in the room. It was after 8:30 when I finally pushed off. I set the GPS to plot a route to the town of Anthony and dutifully followed. After Las Cruces I rode passed lots of pecan and horse farms. I also crossed the Rio Grande and realized how close I was to Mexico. At Anthony I stopped to top off the batteries and have some lunch. Here I had a decision to make. Do I take I-10 or O'Hara Rd around El Paso? I took I-10 for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to get a 'Welcome to Texas' photo and second, I wasn't sure I would be find towns going the back way. I-10 was very busy and I probably stayed on it longer than would have been advised. Eventually, I had to get off. I ended up riding right through downtown El Paso passed the train and bus station. It was an interesting ride and I had lots of enthusiastic interactions with people in cars and walking. I also saw the 'danged' fence that John McCain is always talking about building across the Mexican border with Arizona. Mexico butted up with downtown El Paso. From an overpass I could see the slums of Juarez. Just as I was leaving El Paso I also noticed something unusual with my Cycle Analyst.
The Cycle Analyst was showing me negative watts. At first it was only -1 to -10. Being Friday afternoon, I decided to give Ecospeed a call to see if this was something I should be concerned about. The owner said it was fine. Okie dokie.
I also gave my Warm Showers hosts a call to let them know I was a couple of hours out. I managed to take a frontage road all the way to the Sparks neighborhood. On the way I came upon thousands of birds siting together on electrical wires. It was mesmerizing. The GPS took me to the address of my hosts but it just didn't seem right. Every where I looked there were recycling and trucking businesses. There were also lots of dogs guarding the businesses. I couldn't see a residence. I called Charley and Kamala for a second time and they asked if I was on Sparks Circle or Drive. The GPS said circle and, of course, I should have been on drive. I understood Charlie's directions back to the McDonald's off I-10 and headed there. Then I called to get the next set of directions. The craziest thing is that I ended up back at the address the GPS originally sent me too. Kamala and Charley were waiting for me outside and said they bought the house before anything else was built. Too funny. Today was another 75 mile day and I was really happy to arrive.
Myrtle was secured in the workshop and I was shown to my room. This couple has done many tours around the US on a tandem It was really interesting talking to them. They made me feel very comfortable and even fixed me a wonderful meal. Kamala also had a fabulous bathtub. It was really deep and she had closed off the drain holes so water could be filled higher. After 75 miles that was heavenly. We spent the evening talking about routes and I think I have some better ideas for how to get to Austin. I was really exhausted and went to sleep early.
Las Cruces, NM to El Paso, TX
Last bike lane in New Mexico.
Humorous garden at the hotel in Las Cruces.
The 'fence' and Juarez Mexico.
Birds on a wire.
Only place in Texas where guns are not allowed.
Lovely hosts Charley and Kamala