Friday, May 9, 2014

May 8 (Day 128, part 2) - SURPRISE!!!

Hey everyone, it’s Sonia (aka, Dorian’s better half). I am currently sitting next to Dorian in his hotel room in lovely Balmorhea, TX. It’s been a long day of travel for me with the end goal being a big surprise for Dorian. I blogged throughout the day so you could come along my journey….

10:30a EST-- I’m sitting at the Philadelphia airport waiting to start my travels to El Paso, TX. I was in Philly for a work conference and I have to go to Dallas next week for another, so I thought it would be a good time for me to sneak in a surprise visit to see Dorian. He has absolutely no idea I’m coming in tonight. In fact, he thinks that I am in Philly until tomorrow and then heading to Orlando. Side note, Dorian hates surprises, which obviously makes this even more fun!

Shhh! Don't tell Dorian...

Here is the plan: My flight leaves Philly around 12p and I connect in Phoenix. I land in El Paso around 5:45p and I’ll make the 3 hour drive to where Dorian is staying in Balmorhea, TX. I’ll have the front desk call up to his room to tell him that something has been delivered for him. When he walks down, there I will be. A video will be made so we can all enjoy the freaked out face he’ll have when he walks through those doors.

As you all can imagine, planning this has been no easy task. The idea actually originated with a friend and co-conspirator, Bill Sain. Bill has been instrumental in helping Dorian through the tough Texas ride. He’s connected him with locals and he has even met Dorian along his path to bird and hang out. Originally Dorian’s path was supposed to take him to Alpine, TX where he would stay a night with Bill and then climb the Davis Mountains, but the long rides and Texas heat have really taken a toll on him so he decided on Monday to pass on this route. This left me with a last minute scramble to figure out where he was going to be and how I would be able to catch up with him. Luckily my sneaky little ways have paid off and I have successfully convinced him to download the “Find my friends” app which allows me to see exactly where he is at all times. I've been able to watch his GPS coordinates as he rides down I10. The NSA has nothing on me! Ok, boarding my flight. Here we go….

2:00p PST -- crisis 30,000 feet in the air! My flight was delayed out of Philly which means that I am at risk of missing my connection in Phoenix. I have about 20 mins to run from the C Gates in Terminal 4 to my connecting D Gate. The Phoenix native sitting next to me on my flight has assured me that everything will be ok but I’m gonna have to book it to my next flight. If I miss my connection, I’ll likely get stuck in Phoenix for the night. Fingers crossed.

4:00p CST – I rushed through the Phoenix airport, pushed over old ladies and babies only to get to my gate to see that my connecting flight was also delayed. Perfect. Crisis averted. Looks like I’m going to make it to El Paso!

6:00 CST – I’ve landed in El Paso!! Now, time to pick up my rental car and drive the 3 hours to Balmorhea, TX. Where the heck is Balmorhea, you ask? It’s in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

8:30p CST – I got stopped by the Border Patrol and questioned. The conversation went a little something like this:
Sexy Border Patrol Man: “Are you a US Citizen?”
Me: “Yes”
SBPM: “Where do you live?”
Me: [Pause] “Umm, well, I don't have a permanent address. I'm traveling around the US. Right now I live in Nashville.”
SBPM: "Is that where you were coming from?"
Me: "No. I was in Philly for work"
SBPM: "So now where are you going?"
Me: “To Balmorhea, TX to see my boyfriend. Then to Dallas for work.”
SBPM: “Your boyfriend lives in Balmorhea?” (weird look on his face)
Me: “No, he doesn't have a residence either. He’s riding a bike across the country. I’m meeting him on his path." He gave me another strange look so I continued to rattle on, "Really, you’ll see him in a couple days when he rides past here going the other way. He started in New Hampshire. I'm surprising him.”
SBPM: [Confused] “Wait, he’s riding a bike? On I10?”
Me: "Yep. He has a blog. Do you want to..."
SBPM: [Defeated] “Oh never mind…. just go. This is too much.”

…Hmmmm, perhaps honesty isn't always the best policy. I probably should have stuck with "I'm going to visit a friend."

Hello Sexy Border Patrol Man

10:00p CST –  I’m at the hotel. There is no front desk. In fact, there is hardly a hotel. So, I guess my plan is now to just knock on Dorian’s door. I had told him that I was having dessert delivered to his hotel, so luckily I know his room number. Video will be posted later.

10:02 CST -- Reunited...
...and Happy! 

So, that's it. After 2 flights through 3 states, 3 time zones and a 3 hour car ride, I am here with Dorian. My main goal is help push him through these last few days of his difficult Texas ride. ...Ok, there might also be a *slight* motivation for a shave and a haircut. :)


  1. You guys are awesome. Thanks for making this fun and celebratory. I love what you are doing. I'm reading from the Sierra anticipating your arrival.

  2. The section of west Texas that you're traveling through is no fun, even in a vehicle. I can't even imagine it on a bike. Oh, there used to be a decent barbeque place in Van Horn, Texas. About all there was there, but.... Glad you've had a little surprise to life the spirits.

  3. Cutest story ever. You guys rock!