I mentioned yesterday that Texas seemed big. Well I can now say that it is huge! It will be another two days of riding to make the coast. Big mountains, big mesas and big sky. Texans are very friendly and want to talk about how I am enjoying their state. They also are very interested in my adventure and bike. I met a crazy couple on a Harley yesterday in shorts and no helmets that warned me about sitting on rocks. Rattle snakes, scorpions are a concern in some areas. She was very excited about this warning. It may have been the Big Gulp size coffee she was drinking while riding on the back of the bike. Maybe it wasn’t coffee?
Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are all states that do not require helmets. Other than the obvious head injury issue, I would find that bugs would be a problem. I am fairly fastidious about keeping my visor clean. Having said this I am thinking of renaming the visor to bug catcher. Every gas stop requires a good wash down of my helmet. Not only that but the impact of some of these bug fatalities at high speed can catch you off guard. Most of the riders on the interstate highways without helmet have been Harley riders. I am assuming that this is a lifestyle choice, but I would rather clean the bugs off my helmet than face.
The other big thing in Texas are posted speed limits! Interstates are 80 miles an hour and the state roads are 70 or 75 miles an hour. For my morning start yesterday down Interstate 10, posted speeds got the blood going. The 35 miles to the exit down 118 South was very quick.
118 South was a great morning ride. Great road, great turns and nice pace. Finding state and national parks to ride through is an awesome way to find perfect rides. University of Texas operates the McDonald Observatory in the Davis State Forest. From here you ride down into Fort Davis Historical Park. The site is a well preserved Buffalo Soldier Fort dating back to 1854. The surrounding town is a great stop.
The highway continues south towards the Mexican border and Big Bend National Park. Big Bend mountains hide the Rio Grande below. The Rio Grande is the natural division between the two countries. The ride down into the park and the loop around is a three hour trip with stops. Border Patrol stations are located about 40 miles outside the park. Nice chat with the patrol officers as I fished out my passport from panniers. I had also passed through a checkpoint in New Mexico in the White Sands Park. I did not realize that these check points existed so far away from the border.
Overnighted in the tiny town of Sanderson. From here I am still in the process of deciding where to go next. I guess that is part of the adventure. How far south? Do I stick to the border until the coast? This is all very new territory and need to push on….