U.S. 360 Tour – Day 12 from Van Horn TX to Fort Hancock TX (The Who, and Jackrabbit Racing)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

72 miles (116 km) – Total so far: 647 miles (1,041 km)

“I can see for miles and miles” “I can see for miles and miles” “I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles”.

When you see some of the pictures below from today’s adventure, you’ll see why I couldn’t get this song out of my head. I had no expectations on how far I would ride today, given that I was at the whim of the wind direction. Luckily, I got started early enough that the winds didn’t kick up until the latter third of the ride. The day started early out of Van Horn, and the first ten miles or so were spent climbing to a respectable elevation. The views all day were expansive, with fairly large mountains, both in the U.S. and Mexico, in the distance.

I passed through the town of Sierra Blanca first, and got a glimpse of the geographic landmark that gave the town it’s name, the almost white Sierra Blanca Mountain. A few minutes later, as my eyes were transfixed on the white line separating the main lane from the shoulder, I saw a jackrabbit out of the corner of my eye. To my surprise, he jumped out of the brush fairly close to my front wheel, at which point he began to run a few feet in front of me, right down the middle of the road. After a few seconds, and as I quipped at what a good looking guy he was, he appeared surprised and put his hopping gear in overdrive. He left me in a cloud of dust, like something you’d see out of a roadrunner and Wylie Coyote cartoon, all the while never leaving his line. It was a bit hot, but I promise I was not hallucinating!

The ride took an interesting turn, when, coming out of Sierra Blanca, I was greeted with a long, moderate downhill into the valley that is home to Fort Hancock. Not sure about the mileage, but I don’t remember turning my crank for a three or four mile stretch. The rest of the ride very closely paralleled the border with Mexico. Road conditions were not optimal today, either because of the debris on the Interstate’s shoulder, or road work on some of the smaller roads.

I didn’t see any other traveling cyclists, and the only wildlife viewing was the show-off jackrabbit. For tomorrow, I plan on making the trek into El Paso. Should be fun.

It’s all good.

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Too early to smile
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The long, straight road to Sierra Blanca
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The hard way to gain an hour
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Looked like something out of a Western movie. Conductor blew his whistle at me and almost blew me off my bike
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Hook’em Sierra Blanca
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The Mountain that the town is named after
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Unique rest area
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I can see for miles and miles
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This is a bad picture of the terrible grooved surface on the IH-10 shoulder
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My new friend “Hector” from a TxDOT road crew. These guys work their tails off
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View towards Mexico from tonight’s lodging

Click Here to read my daily tour journal entry on crazyguyonabike.com

 

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