Out in the west Texas town of El Paso

Today’s ride was nice and easy until the end. I started out kind of late, about 8:30. But I had another falling out with my GPS and it sent me looping around Las Cruces looking for the start of the route, so it ended up being 9:00 before I hit the correct route. The weather was cool this morning. It warmed up quickly and the roads were all rural farmland so the ride was pleasant. When I got to Vinton, TX the route went on a great bike greenway that ran along the dry Rio Grande. I made it to El Paso right around 2 pm and then had another 5 miles to go to make it to the bike shop. I think they must have carved El Paso out of the mountain. It took me an hour to get to the bike shop. The staff at Crazy Cat Cyclery were able to replace the screw and spacers that had fallen off my rear pannier rack. I also bought a couple of shifter cables in case I break one of those again. All for 3 bucks! No charge for the repair. Since it was only 4 pm, I thought I’d ride on a bit and see what hotels I could find. I ended up getting lost (surprise) and almost rode into Mexico. So, I let my schizo GPS find a motel for me. The first thing it did was route me onto I-10. I should have known better, but I followed its advice. It said, take exit 22B, which was only two exits away. I did and then while I was on the ramp, it said, “OFF ROUTE”. When it tried to get me back on I-10 going the opposite way, I told it to shut up. I changed the settings on it to avoid highways and restarted the quest. Then it said, “Oh, you wanted the shortest route there! Well keep going 1/2 mile and you’ll arrive at your destination.” Here’s the map for today and some pictures:

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A lot of alfalfa pasturesIMG_2621 IMG_2626 A cool looking houseIMG_2625Pecan trees everywhere
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IMG_2637 IMG_2638 IMG_2636 IMG_2622More alfalfaIMG_2627

More pecan treesIMG_2631More alfalfaIMG_2649The bike path along the Rio GrandeIMG_2652Rio Grande Bike TrailIMG_2653The mighty Rio GrandeIMG_2654Here tooIMG_2655I met this couple, Dan and Robin, on the bike trail. They said they’ve lived in the Vinton, Texas area for four years and have never seen water in the Rio Grande. Dan said it’s all diverted for irrigation.IMG_2656
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IMG_2632At the end of the bike path, I had to ride on a dirt road a little to reach the road.IMG_2633IMG_2634IMG_2635IMG_2657IMG_2658IMG_2659IMG_2660IMG_2661While I was waiting for my bike to be repaired, I went next door to the Subway and got a sandwich. The woman in front of me asked if I was riding the Southern Tier. When I told her I was, she said she’s a warm showers host. Her name is Alana. She offered me her couch tonight as she already had two cyclists staying. By then, I’d already decided to look for a motel. Should have taken her up on it and saved traveling all over I-10!IMG_2662After I almost ended up in Mexico, I started back to downtown El Paso and passed through this section of colorful hispanic shops. It reminded me of Costa Rica.
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