I woke up this morning and looked out the window. I saw a little bird in the parking lot. He took off, blew about fifty feet and landed on his side. It was a windy day. Then I looked off into the distance. The skies were brown with dust. I decided to go eat breakfast and see if things got better. I went back to the restaurant next to the motel where I ate last night. The ham and cheese omelette was decent, the hash browns were excellent and the toast came with blackberry jam (how exotic--at least it was a nice change from strawberry and grape).
Outside, things hadn't changed. On the way back, I stopped at the motel office and paid for another night. Maybe I'd never get out of Texas. The winds were supposed to get stronger throughout the day, so the dust could only get worse. My body  and my bike didn't need that kind of abuse.
I spent most of the day editing photos. I should get a few more days worth posted soon. In the afternoon, I turned on The Weather Channel. The current conditions at Hobbs, 30 miles west,  were " sunny with blowing dust," and the winds were 23 mph.
After a month of touring, I have developed some strange tan lines. I already mentioned the circles on my hands where my gloves don't cover the skin. I also have striped areas on the backs of my hands where the sun gets through the gloves' mesh backing. However, my face is where it's most obvious. For starters, I have a slight raccoon look thanks to my sunglasses. However, the most peculiar-looking tan lines are on my cheeks and under my chin. It looks like I've been wearing a baby bonnet--those are from my helmet straps. I never had that problem before since I have a few different helmet models that I wear at home.
For dinner, I didn't feel like going back to the motel restaurant, so I went for a walk and discovered a little place called Maxine's Home Cooking. It was a neat little diner with a counter and a few tables. I had a grilled ham & cheese sandwich since I wasn't very hungry. While I ate, I listened to the locals talking. A woman said how it was dusty today but it was nothing like the dust storms when she was a kid--it was as dark as night. But there hasn't been a dust storm that bad in a long time, so kids today haven't seen anything like that, she added.
It seems like I've taken a lot of days off, but this is only the eighth one. That's more frequent than the weekly rest day I had planned, but it's not too bad. The important thing is to avoid burn-out. I know a day like today would have drained me more than it was worth. Besides, there was plenty of work on the web site to keep me busy.  The forecast for tomorrow looks promising, so perhaps I will finally leave Texas after two weeks. I wouldn't mind staying, but I have a few states left to cross this month.
Click here to see  today's photos.
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