119 miles from Van Horn to Fort Stockton
The worst case of helmet hair I've had this year!
This sets me up nicely to ride the ~65 miles to Iraan (pronounced Ira-Ann) tomorrow. Winds will be from the north in the morning before shifting to the east later in the day. As there is not much climbing tomorrow, I should be able to get on the road early and reach my destination before the wind switch occurs.
Oh wow, I almost forgot. I did have on incredible bird encounter on the road today. I was cruising along the I-10 shoulder when I saw something in the middle of the left lane about a half a mile ahead of me. I wheeled along and eventually what looked like a vulture took shape. It was backlit so it was hard to see exactly what was going on. Whatever it was, it was eating something. It also seemed as though it could care less about me. I rolled up to within 15 feet of what turned out to be a huge adult Golden eagle! Now, I have seen some Goldens really well this year, but nothing like this. The bird kept an eye on me while it continued to peck at the rabbit carrion. I stood stopped on the shoulder with the bird right in front of me for about 20 seconds before an 18-wheeler came along and scared it off. It was really an amazing view of a majestic bird.
I will confess that it is tough to generate blog content at this stage of the year in this part of the country. These rides are tough, and without other people around, I am left in my own head for a huge proportion of the day. This is all part of the challenge though. That I have made the decision not to listen to anything (music, NPR, audio books etc) while I ride heightens this sensation. It can be an altogether scary yet equally rewarding experience to spend so much time by oneself. Hopefully, once I reach the LRGV and rendezvous with some actual people, more substantive blog content can be generated. I am just so drained at this stage of things. I knew this leg was going to be tough. I just have to keep cranking. I should have a bit more energy tomorrow, but I'm wiped out right now.