Friday, March 27, 2009
Day 20 Long and Hard to Ft Davis
Well, my title may make this day sound bad, but really it had some fantastic parts. Our first forty miles were along the interstate 10. The good part of this, is that there really isn't much traffic, and the scenery is fine and the shoulder is wide and smooth. Enough said.
After those forty with good tail wind, we headed down route 117 toward Fort Davis. Now it is a funny thing, after clipping along on good pavement with a tailwind, you start to think that you are very capable of maintaining a 20+mph pace. We turned, and saw the mileage to Ft Davis as 51 miles and I thought, OK...I am feeling good, this should be fine. Suddenly the tail wind turned into a cross wind, we started uphill and the pavement became that good ole chip seal....After and in terminal three miles we saw our van and trailer which meant lunch (we have lunch provided when there is NOWHERE to get food). As always the food was great with sandwiches, bean salad, cookies. The problem was that we had to get back on our bikes, and start back on the pavement with the wind and hills.....for twenty more miles...twenty long, slow arduous miles...these define SLOGGING. We had another SAG stop and I really thought about just climbing into the van and getting a ride, but I didn't and therefore got to climb for 15 miles. Now I have to admit that the wind died down, the pavement improved, and the views were great...but climbing after sixty miles, the last twenty or so which were very tough, was not easy. Some of the inclines were very steep, at least ten percent. Toward the end of the climb, I heard something clatter and realized it was my odometer....I retrieved it, but no luck...the bracket it sits on was destroyed...so for here on until the next bike shop, I will rely on others for mileage. I can tell you that once we got through that portion, we only had twelve and a half more miles and they were mostly downhill....mostly. Actually at the transition to mostly downhill, was McDonald Observatory...now that was cool. It actually sits about two miles off route 117. The downhill was good, and the few rolling uphills were tough, mostly mentally for me. The good news is that the Indian Lodge at Davis Mountain Park was a perfect place. The rooms are large and nicely decorated with plenty of gathering areas. Our dinner was a buffet and everyone was so exhausted and hungry we just sat and shovelled food in as fast as we could.
Mileage 90 miles