Motorcycling Coast to Coast - Twice

Motorcycling Adventure #1

22 days, 7,300 miles, Apr 2011

Ray Jardine

Day 4 2011-04-23Welcome to Texas page 4 of 23

Dawn is my favorite time of day, and I don't like to miss it. So this morning I said goodbyes to Jenny (and Camper) and headed off in the dark of a new day. The bike needed gas, so I stopped to fill the tank. Then while setting off again, I tried to turn my bluetooth headset on, and realized the battery part wasn't there. So I sped back to the motel hoping to catch Jenny before she checked out of the room. Come to find out, I had packed that part of my headset in my gear; so all was well. With the headset working, I set off again.

While preparing for this trip, I had made a daily route based loosely on our Hello America route, and loaded it into my GPS. I can't hear the directions spoken on the GPS while riding, due to the wind blast. So I am using a bluetooth headset linked with the GPS. With that system I navigated all the way to the east coast without paper maps.

2011 MA Day-04 Carlsbad to Ingram - 441 mi.

The morning was very pretty as I sped along in the cold blast. I had to remain especially alert this time of the day, watching out for deer and other animals that might come dashing out of the bush along the road ahead. These animals are much more dangerous to a person riding a motorcycle rather than a car, due to the lack of protection for the rider.

Sunrise at the border.

From Fort Stockton I had intended to travel to Sanderson and Del Rio, but the road was closed, so I backtracked to the I-10 and followed that to Sonora then down to Rock Springs.

At a rest stop on I-10

From this point I am riding solo, and from most of the photos that follow the journey might look like a lonely trip. But this is hardily the case. I am meeting friendly people just about everywhere, and mainly because of them my ride is a rich and wonderful experience.

The rest stop on I-10 for example I met a friendly couple driving a nice car, who somehow became intrigued and started asking questions. Like most of my encounters, this would have never happened if I had been driving a car instead.

My one regret is I missed a lot of photos of interesting people I met, because I'm hesitant to offend them with a camera. Some people don't mind a stranger taking pictures of them, but some do.

From Rock Springs I entered the Texas hill country, full of twisty little-traveled roads that were very fun to ride.

While having a bite to eat in a convenience store, I talked with a guy who was out training on his mountain bike, and who had stopped here for something to eat also. He was training for the Great Divide Route (Continental Divide), which he hoped to complete in less than 2 weeks. On a mountain bike that would be hauling! I asked him how far he had come today, and he said 180 miles so far. I wasn't too surprised because he had the body of a real athlete. He was planning to ride the Great Divide Route in mid June, north to south, so I suggested that maybe I would see him there, somewhere along the way, as I would like to ride the same route, south to north on my motorcycle. If we do meet, it would be the proverbial small world, we both agreed.

The first day of the trip my face had become sunburned, even though wearing a helmet throughout the day, and even though the visor on the helmet was dark. So dark that a person couldn't see my face from the outside. I would have thought that dark of a visor would be opaque to UV. But not so. Then today, I thought - no need for sunscreen cream - because the day was very cloudy. My face got sunburned again!

Late afternoon I rode past a motel with a sign "Welcome motorcycles." How could I pass that one up? Turns out the owner/manager was an avid biker himself, and had a very nice machine parked outside his window. He was super friendly, and of course we talked bikes.

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