Day 180

Sanderson, TX to Ft. Stockton, TX

It’s cold again this morning, but only a few miles into Sanderson for breakfast. After that I try to return to a state of no expectations for another day’s ride. I need some kind of help to get there. It’s foggy, windy, and bitterly cold. It’s also uphill, and progress into the wind is painfully slow. I fall into despair and frustration a few times, but manage to keep going. After a few hours I see a patch of blue sky to the north, which gives me hope.

Ft. Stockton is a big, spread out place. A few Mexican natives hanging out by their auto shop ask me friendly questions, one translating for the others. They are especially interested in how much pussy I’ve gotten, having travelled so far. I’m afraid they find my lack of juicy tales a colossal failure. I stop for lunch at a tiny Mexican joint. The waitress is friendly and really pretty, and I consider trying to improve my record. I find no opportunity to flirt with her though, it’s just not in me.

Looking for an indoor phone, I find one coveniently located in a Dairy Queen, so I have a banana split between calls. When I come out my rear tire is flat. I find three punctures, patch them, and pull two cactus thorns out of the tire. I put it all back together and inflate it at a service station. I can still hear a leak, so go through the whole thing again, finding one more tiny thorn. Frustrated at the waste of time, I head out of town at a good clip. By the time I hit the city limits the tire is flat again. I put some more air in, turn around, and go to a Motel 6 for a room.

I make some calls looking for a new tire, but no luck. So I painstakingly clean and patch the tire and tube in my room. I also get some good news from Dad – he got some time off for Christmas! We make plans to meet on Christmas day between Vaughn and Roswell, NM.

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