Yes I made it across the Rio Grande into Mexico the other day, and it was an interesting crossing. But first back to Texas.
In west Texas I met these two women from South Korea. They were cycling from New York to San Francisco and had cycled about 3000 miles so far. Way to go!
A view of I-10 with some cool clouds.
Really? Only in Texas.
I’ve always been fasciated by spiders, and almost bought a tarantula as a pet when I was a kid. So I was excited when out of nowhere this tarantula crawled right in front of me as I was riding down the road. Of course I had to stop and get some photos and video.
Sounds like a welcome place, even for non-cowboys.
Another “before I die I want to…” board. I have seen a few of these so I guess they are popular now. Some are inspirational: “See the world at peace”, or “Love and be loved.” Others are a bit questionable: “Smoke the world’s biggest blunt”?
I had a spate of flat tires last week, six flats in three days. When you consider I usually go 4-6 weeks in between flats this was annoying to say the least. I had just rolled into Alpine, TX and had yet another flat. It happened right in front of a bar so I said screw it. I took my bike out back and got a cold Modelo beer. Fixing a flat while sipping a cold beer makes it almost enjoyable.
There was a roadside informational sign on my way to Big Bend National Park that described some of the Apache history in the area. There was this cool photo of some Apache. I just love the faces of these guys.
A cold front passed through one day. It was 104 deg one day and 48 deg the next. With a driving north wind, I had to bundle up as I entered Big Bend National Park.
Some views in Big Bend Park.
OK, the border crossing to Mexico was about as primitive as it gets. You speak with a US immigration guy then walk down to the Rio Grande and pay $5.00 to a guy who rows you across. On the other side you walk or can get a ride 1/2 mile to Boquillas del Carmen, a small village on the Mexican side. Then you have to go through Mexican immigration in a small trailer. It was a little odd, but fun. A lot of tourists just go over for a couple hours to eat and buy souvenirs. Here we are with my bike in the boat ready to leave.
There are only two restaurants in town and a B&B. The B&B was full so I rented a basic room from the guy who runs the Boquillas restaurant. Great margaritas!
Some photos of the small, ramshackle town of Boquillas. The town had a population of about 300 before the 9/11 attacks. Then the US closed the border for 10 years. The population dropped to only a few dozen. The border was reopened a few years go and the population has increased to about 200. Most depend on tourism for a living, although there are several ranches in the area too.
No al Muro—No to the Wall
Here is the road south from Boquillas. It is rocky and uphill for about 50 miles, then there is another 100 miles before the next town. I really had to think about riding that far. Uphill, bad roads, no water, no houses, no stores. I like a challenge but this was over the line. As Clint Eastwood said, a man’s got to know his limitations. I decided to look for a ride.
A local resident.
The door of my basic room. No doorknob or lock, just a chain and padlock. Hey, it worked.
I found a guy, Raul, to give me a ride 150 miles to the next town and avoid the gravel road. It just wasn’t possible. There were no water sources, plus I’m sure I would have broken a few spokes. The area is very remote. We hardly passed any vehicles in the 3 1/2 hour ride. Here is Raul with his truck.
This is the road south of Boquillas. As you can see, it is not a great one for cycling.
Here is my intended route in Mexico, more or less. This is about 4000 miles, or about four months. So the plan is to be back in New Mexico by March, 2018. Vamos a ver!