I expect a tough, hilly morning and I get it, but I also have fun. The road twists, climbs, and dives over the wrinkled land. I’m only a bit exhausted as I swoop down into Leakey. Suddenly the temperature drops, a bitter wind rises, and I scramble in hopes of a warm place to eat.
I bundle up and set off for another 20 miles of hills. They turn out to be a little gentler, and again I enjoy the ride more that I expect.
At Camp Wood I happily turn south for 18 miles of nice downriver and downwind road. It’s a restful, sunny hour. Then I turn west again on a tiny road. I ride on it for a long time, feeling like I’m a million miles from anywhere. The yellow grass disappears, leaving only rocks, cactus, weeds, and chemise.
When I reach US90 I don’t like the feel of the little town there. I’m hungry, but there’s no inviting place to eat. The thought of camping here is even less inviting. Del Rio is 32 miles away, and it’s 3:30 pm. Earlier in the trip I never would have attempted it, but after the mileages I’ve been doing I decide I can do it. My legs feel tired, but by 5 I’ve made it as far as the Air Force base. There I get a flat. I find that a little noise I have been ignoring was my brake pad destroying my tire. I get it to hold air with a heavy patch and move on, watching the airplanes training. By nightfall I have new tires, food, and a motel room in Del Rio. I manage to put the new tires on despite my exhaustion.