Day Thirty-Four

Lamesa, TX to Seminole, TX

I was going to write an April Fool's Day report where I said the heck with biking and bought a pick-up truck, threw the bike in the back, drove up to Levelland, bought a bottle of Wild Turkey, checked into the Levelland Motel, drank all day, then went to the Brass Ball Saloon and picked a fight with the biggest guy in the place... but it didn't come together the way I wanted it, so here's my regular report instead.

Two things did me in today. First, the southerly wind turned out to be more westerly, and it pushed me back all day. Second, the Llano Estacado turned out not to be as flat as James McMurtry and the terrain near Lamesa had led me to believe.

I got a late start today (that may be the most-repeated phrase on this web site), around 10:30. After stopping for a couple of donuts, water and Coke, it was nearly 11:00 by the time I left Lamesa. US 180 west of town was okay except for that darn wind. There were some long, gentle hills, but they weren't a problem. Eventually, though, those hills became more pronounced. And soon I observed that as I crested each one, I would see a higher one ahead. What happened to the " level land?"

Although I thought I had plenty of time to make it to Hobbs, New Mexico, it soon became clear that it would not be easy. I was averaging less than 10 mph, and with the hills and wind, I couldn't find a steady rhythm. I decided that if I got to Seminole after 3:30, I wouldn't have enough time to ride the additional 30 miles to Hobbs before sunset. As I went further west, I came to places where dirt was blowing across the road. I wasn't having much fun. In the end, I was really hoping that Seminole would have a decent place to stay (I knew there were motels, but I didn't know if they were nice). If not, I'd have to push on to Hobbs, but my heart just wasn't in it. There will be plenty of time for heroics in the mountains over the next week or two, so there was no point in going to Hobbs just to prove I could. I finally reached the Seminole city limits at 4:15.

Just west of where  US 180 joined with US 62, I saw the Raymond Motor Lodge. I decided that it had to be an okay place since it was right next door to the First Methodist Church. This was a unique and fantastic motel. It had a quirky layout of several different buildings with three or four units each. Many rooms had carports in front. My spacious room had windows on both the east and west walls. I was glad I stopped. Then I went to the mini-mart across the street for some Coke. They had a " happy hour" special--half-price fountain drinks. I got a 44-ounce Coke for only 45 cents! I talked to my wife briefly and finally got her online to see my web site. I think she'll be disappointed that I didn't take pictures of all the dogs that have chased me.

Stopping early today didn't really mess me up because the next day was going to be short anyway (because of where motels are located). Now it would be a 50-mile day instead of a 20-mile day, that's all.

I went to the restaurant next to the motel for dinner. Once again, I was tripped up by regional condiment differences. I ordered breaded mozzarella cheese sticks, and the waitress  brought out a bowl of ranch dressing for dipping. They had no marinara sauce, so I asked for barbeque sauce. She gave me a funny look, but she brought me some.  The BBQ sliced beef sandwich was excellent, although I had to pick off the pickles first. Everything in Texas comes with pickles.

Totals for the day: 42.19 miles in 4:27:55 for a 9.4 mph average.

Click here to see today's photos.

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