Windy, wild, west Texas

First things first – I finished my Errandonnee adventure! #12 today falls under self-care. Mike arrived yesterday. We needed to test ride his re-assembled bike and see if he remembered how to ride outside! (If you don’t know Mike, he lives in Alaska and hasn’t ridden outside since October).

We knew the wind would be picking up so we tried to get out fairly early. At about mile 18 I got a flat tire. I had purchased some tire liners, but one was defective (too short to overlap) so we’d made the decision yesterday afternoon to put the good liner on the back tire. So … of course, the flat was on the front. We changed the tube and continued our ride. At mile 20 we found our self-care location.

Friday2

Can you say Southern Maid donuts? Yummmmm…after 20 miles with lots of cross wind and some head wind, we’d earned them.

After a short stop, we got back on the bikes and finished the ride for a total of 25 miles.

My observation today is more in general than specific to my errand. El Paso has very interesting street names. The ones near my mom’s house are all Gaelic (Kilmarnock, Glengarry, Daugherty, Gairloch, etc.). A bit to the west near the high school they’re islands (Bermuda, Trinidad, Saipan, etc.) Further west there are a BUNCH of golfers’ names, Lee Trevino being the most recognizable. He is retired now but is an icon for Mexican-Americans and is considered the greatest Hispanic golfer of all time (according to Wikipedia). Interestingly, I hear a lot of people around here say his name as “Treveenyo”, as if the “n” has a tilde.

Anyway, we rode through a neighborhood on the way back and I saw this street sign. In the same vein as my blog post yesterday – what does this make you think about? Not the Dean Jones sign, but the McAuliffe?

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My mind went immediately to the Challenger disaster. And sure enough, as we turned the corner, we saw streets named “Ron McNair”, “Dick Scobee”, and “Michael Smith.” Looking on the map you can see the entire crew, as well as other astronauts. The shuttle blew up in 1986 – over 20 years ago, but I still remember the horror of watching it. It’s one of those “Where were you when . . . ” moments. Still, I’m glad that the Challenger crew is memorialized in this neighborhood. There’s even a Challenger Lane.

This afternoon is a Red Flag warning day. That means extremely high winds and dust storm. They aren’t kidding. I’m hoping this blows itself out so we can have clear skies in Big Bend. We leave tomorrow morning. I won’t be back on again until next Sunday at the earliest. Hasta la vista, baby!

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