Into the Desert

I stopped on the way out of the neat, converted Fort Clark to snap a few pictures of the entrance to the fort. The riderless cavalry horse statue seemed so appropriate to the changes that have occurred in a relatively  recent span of time. And the gravestone of the young trooper is also mute testimony to the reality that, as Sonny and Cher once crooned plaintively in their 60’s hit, And the Beat Goes On, “and the young boys keep on marchin’ off to war”.

It was a pleasingly cool beginning to the day, and I was glad of it with a 75 mile jaunt planned to Comstock and the Seminole Canyon State Park campground. Our ever westward trek is  bringing us closer by the mile to our international neighbor to the south, Mexico. The most notable thing about this is that the number of Border Patrol vehicles we encounter has increased exponentially. In fact, we were both individually directed into a mandatory check point today. Cathy gave them her most winsome Midwestern smile and she was waved on through. When I pulled in on my bike, all they wanted to know was my nationality. Easy peasy.

I could have ridden the entire day without my trusted Adventure Cycling map hanging on the handlebar. Every mile was on US 90. It’s a well used mostly 2 lane road with a shoulder of decent width, but painfully rough surface. The “coefficient of friction” is a real thing, folks, whether you’re talking about metal parts in an engine, or the rubber surface of a bicycle tire on the rock chips of an asphalt road. There’s a good one and half to two mile per hour difference on the roughest surfaces. When I do occasionally find a smooth section, it’s like a taste of biker heaven.

Speaking of maps, we have now finished the 4th of the 7 map set, and that means we have more than half of the total route behind us, 1753 miles, give or take a few. It will take one more of the three maps that are left to get us out of Texas.

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The Amistead Reservoir is the largest body of water in this part of West Texas. It’s an incredibly blue lake, though it’s current level seems to be substantially below the normal water line as seen on the rock borders of the many points it occupies.  I was more than a bit anxious crossing the nearly half mile bridge across it, as there was no shoulder at all, and a passing vehicle would definitely be required to move into the oncoming lane to pass me. Lucky, or blessed, or both, I rode the entire distance neither being passed or meeting another vehicle.

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As has often been the case, our overnight destination turns out to be the best part of the day. Thanks again to Cathy’s map recon and info research, she had picked out this fabulous state park, Seminole Canyon. I’ll include a few pix of what we were able to see tonight, and then on a later post, fill in more pictures and history.

Spring has sprung in the desert and the wildflowers are putting on a show! Such lovely colors in such a drab setting.

That will have to suffice for this post. Tomorrow is our son Sean’s 45th birthday.  We’re hoping he has a good day and the flu bug he has been battling is giving up making him miserable.

We so loved sitting outside STella after the sun had set and watched an incredibly beautiful old moon set in the arms of the new moon. Then Venus was so bright it was hard to tell that the moon had set. Then as Venus set, the stars themselves took over the show and sparkled enticingly overhead. We had the joy of reminiscing about where we were and what we were feeling 45 years ago in the high desert of 29 Palms, California anticipating the birth of our first child. A pretty magic night then, and now.

Thanks for coming along.

One thought on “Into the Desert”

  1. The wildflower pix are like ones I’ve taken around my home in past years. Saw the first Joshua tree blossom Sunday. Wet weather and a little snow promise lots of wildflowers — and weeds! Love reading your blog. You both do a lot of research and share what you learn with the rest of us. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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