Fabens, Texas

We woke early. It was cold. The wind was blowing our way, but we could not fathom riding in the near-freezing temperature. We went back to sleep.

Our second awakening suggested that we would have to ride in cold conditions. We packed up. Breakfast would be had indoors at the truck stop. We scrambled into the restaurant section of the building. Just moving from our tent site to the breakfast table made our noses runny and our cheeks pink and numb. We ordered pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and a carafe of coffee.

Full of cheap, greasy trucker food, we decided to ride off a few calories. We swung our legs over the cold metal frames of our bikes. The wind helped us along, and soon we were traveling at twenty miles per hour with little effort. We reached our stopping point at lunchtime. We had to move on; the prevailing winds would return soon enough. We had to capitalize on the tailwind.

Our route indicated that we would be on frontage roads paralleling Interstate 10. After careful consideration, we left the route to join I-10. Big miles were in our heads, and the straight, smooth road would take us there. Traffic was heavy, but the shoulder was wide. We rode.

And we rode. Our plan was to continue until the sun dropped below the peaks along the Rio Grande. As the sun was setting, we pulled into a town called Fabens. Looking at my odometer, I was pleasantly surprised. One hundred thirteen and two tenths miles. Steve decided that we would sleep at a motel; we had earned a soft bed and a shower.

After settling down, we ventured to the convenience store across the street. After some friendly conversation with the store owner, we were invited to wash our clothes in his personal washing machine in the back office. This was a good thing. Our clothes were becoming grayish brown and beginning to smell like a foot.

We enjoyed dinner, prepared by me, and drank a couple of beers. I had been in contact with the Gene on the phone. The Odoms were in El Paso. Once again, we would meet them. We planned for an easy day of riding tomorrow.