Ride for the Dream

Cycling From Coast To Coast

Day 18 & 19 – Sheffield, TX and Sonora, TX

by on March 22nd, 2014

Buck and I rode about 75 miles from Fort Stockton to Sheffield on Thursday. There was one gas station and no other towns along the way.  Another wind battle type day.  We averaged a bleak 11+ mph which makes for a long day on the trail.  We had planned to camp in Sheffield, a town of 500 or so, because there were supposedly no hotels or services other than a two pump gas station.  As we rolled into town we noticed a small building that looked like it might have been a hotel at one time but appeared to be closed and no cars were in the gravel parking lot. There was a phone number on one of the doors so I called it and got hold of a gentleman who owned the place and said he would come down and open it for us. He showed up about 20 minutes later and after a brief negotiation we had a place to stay for the night.  This was the “hotel” and the guy who owned it.

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We ate dinner at Gloria’s, the only place in town.  It’s a single wide trailer on blocks with a few picnic tables in front of it.  You walk up, order your food, Gloria cooks it and hands it out the window.  We were thrilled to have a hot meal and the food was good.  Across the street from the “hotel” was a prison of sorts, a juvenile last chance bootcamp according to the guy above with the beard and big hat.  They were marching in the street and I watched them go through their paces as I cleaned my bike chain outside our room.

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We left out this morning without any real breakfast options and both ate some energy bars we had in our packs. We decided to take some back roads for the first 20 miles which ended up being a lot of very course chip seal pavement and some climbing over one of the hills/mountains that dot the landscape. The two lane backroads in Texas have speed limits of 75 mph and no real shoulder but also have very little traffic. The highways are 80 mph.

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Between El Paso and Austin in West Texas, the only visible industries are the oil fields and some electric wind farms.  Many of these small towns have RV parks where a lot of the oil workers basically live. Some of the larger ones have a few hotels that are also mostly occupied by oil workers as well.

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We arrived in Sonora this afternoon after about an 80 mile day.  Sonora is a town of 2,500 and also passed through Ozona (where we had lunch) which was a nice town of about 8,500.  The landscape is starting to change and it feels more like “civilization”.  I am in a Best Western tonight watching the UK vs Kansas State game as I type this (some great upsets today….most notably Duke!).  Buck decided to camp down the street.

Ben and Baptiste are making good progress and remain about 100 miles behind us.  They have slept outdoors three nights in a row in “non standard” camping arrangements.  Baptiste won’t stay in hotels or campgrounds that charge a fee, so he generally just squats somewhere and I guess Ben is “enjoying” traveling Baptiste style.  The following is a text I got from Ben yesterday….

“Last night he had me sleeping by the railroad tracks which came by about 10x during the night.  Then the temps dropped and I had ice on my tent.  Worst night ever. Woke up every 30 mins”

Not my idea of fun!  I’m a stellar 17 for 19 nights indoors…..bed, shower, locked door, etc.  I’m looking forward to Austin and the more populated East Texas.  Still a long way to go before we are out of Texas.

 

 

One Response

  1. Geo says:

    You had to get some of the UK game in, didn’t you!!!!

    Enjoy! Be safe.

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