Monday, March 31, 2008

Friday Mileage: 62

Saturday Mileage: 66

Sunday Mileage: 80

Not having the lap top is proving to be a real pain. I am having a lot of trouble finding places to get on line, especially out here in rural west Texas. I can't upload pictures today (which stinks, I have some awesome shots) I am considering buying another one even though it will screw up my budget. If it weren't for these incidental expenses, I would be way under my daily budget of $20 a day. As it stands now, I am slightly over because of these things that keep popping up. I am finding that I am spending an average of $12 a day, pretty much all on food. I am eating about 5000 to 6000 calories a day and still dropping weight slightly. I think I will level out at a certain weight though, once any remaining body fat melts away (and there isn't much left!).

Friday I rode out from Artesia with the intention of going to the Carlsbad Caverns, another natural wonder in New Mexico said to be just amazing. I had seen a special on it on the documentary Planet Earth, which is amazing if you ever get the chance to check it out. At any rate, I was told in Artesia that is was 35 miles to Carlsbad the city, then another 10 to the caverns. So i left about 6:45 in the morning and just cruised as i thought I had plenty of time. I got to Carlsbad around 11 and had lunch. I went to the tourist info building there and asked them about camping at the caverns and they told me i could camp in the back country for free which was great, but that the caverns were 27 miles away, not 10, and stopped letting people walk in at 2! Great, the terrain was rolling hills and it was a very windy day. So i had three hours to cover 27 miles in not the best conditions....legs, don't fail me now! I hauled butt and made it to the access road by 12:45, which turns uphill on a windy road to get to the cavern entrance. and the strong cross wind I had been fighting turned into a screaming headwind! Ouch, i gave it all i had, but I didn't get to the top of the hill until 2:30. So, I decided to camp out in the back country and then see the caves the next day. On a side note, if you ever want to see if you really want something in life, put it at the top of a steep hill going into a monster headwind, and you will find out really quickly how bad you want that thing!

I got up early and was the first one into the caverns and let me say, this is also one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life. The caves are just enormous. You could fit a small town in side with multi story buildings and not touch the ceiling. It is seriously amazing. I walked through 2.5 miles of it and that is only a small fraction of the total 100+ miles of the caves! Just awesome, and only 6 bucks to get in. I wish I could put the pictures up, they turned out really great.

I got out of the caverns around noon and put down another 66 miles up and down hills fighting the wind and made it into Texas. This was a tough day. Every time I crawled up one hill, i saw another 5 going to the horizon. It was really challenging to keep fighting the wind and gravity all day. I was trying to get to a small town that showed up on my map as having a population of less that 25K. So i kept telling myself, one more hill, you will be able to see it after just one more hill. And i just kept forcing myself up and over them, imagining a nice cold chocolate milk once i got to the town (which is weird, i have been craving chocolate milk and drinking it by the bucket, even though i never drank it before!). Well, i finally got to the top of the last stinking hill and saw a little town, so i got a big smile on my face and raced to it....only to find that it was deserted!! Argh! There are lots of these deserted villages in west Texas...and not much else. It is pretty desolate out there. Not much to look at either but endless sage brush and oil derricks.

Well, luckily i had enough water to keep me going for another half day or i could have been in trouble. I got up early and put down another 80 miles yesterday and today made it to Odessa. Not much to say, the days were just riding through arid lands with a bunch of abandoned cars, buildings and trash to look at. I imagine that if there was a nuclear war, what was left of the world would resemble some of the places I have been riding through.

Also, some idiot threw an egg at me while he passed me on the road. Luckily he missed, but what an jerk! I wish I had a turbo button on my bike so I could have caught him and knocked his block off, but oh well. Probably some stupid high school punks with nothing better to do. I suppose things like that are bound to happen.

Well, i wish i could put up some pics, hope all is well back home!


Brandon-Chad said...

Have you ever thought of becoming a writer on the editorial staff for a men's publication like Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Men's Health or Outside? Your stories may interest a lot of readers out there! Just a thought...

In case you didn't already know and if you even care, crude oil recently reached $111 a barrel. It's a good thing you're not powered by gasoline! And Aloha Airlines in Honolulu shut down today--no more flights to SD and OC. Sad day for Hawaii!

Zee said...

I can finally say that I've been somewhere you've been! I've seen the Carlsbad Caverns and was in total awe. I was young but will never forget the experience.

Ashlee is having a great time so far! She is in Scotland and enjoying the pubs, I might add. They met a soccer team the other night and had fun partying with them. I gently reminded her that this is also her spring quarter and we are paying for her education not libation!! Actually, I'm just jealous.

Take care and watch out for flying objects!

Anonymous said...

Easy there Charlie Brown.

Midland Odessa does look like a A bomb went off. It's a wionder that there is nothing to do but play football and hope for a free ride to any one of the Tejas colleges.

Enjoy the desolate times...You got to get to Austin before the landscape improves.

Where does the sky end?

D. Frisina

Anonymous said...

Heh Reece, this is the "old lady" in Texas that wrote to you way back on about day 3. Looks like with your route change you might actually be coming through my part of Texas (believe me it gets better as you go east from Odessa). I'll keep watching for you. You're about 500 miles away. We need to find a way for you to get a new laptop. Anybody out there have any ideas for Reece?

Steven Andrés said...

If you're passing thru Austin my friends that work at Dell say that you have to check out 6th street ( It's a string of bars like downtown HB but without the "tommy-tuff-guy" attitude.

trisha said...

Ohhh you went to those caverns from the movie!?! thats awesome! I want to see pictures now! haha
I can't believe some idiot threw an egg at you! Take care :)

Eric Ossello said...

Sucks about the Eggs and Laptop....

Love reading this stuff reece...hopefully we can help you get a new one!!!!