Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tom Joad - Day 10, mile 2,493.9, Deep in the Heart of Texas...

After overnighting in Pecos, TX, a small truckstop town halfway across the huge expanse of West Texas desert, I departed to a very chilly 32 degree and somewhat windy day to continue my push eastward into Denton, TX, and my farthest point east for this trip. The sun was shining brightly and the temperature quickly rose into the 50's, so I was relatively comfortable for the day's ride.

Although, throughout the day, there was a continuous northerly wind blowing across my path heading east on I-10, so I spent most of the day riding with a perpetual rightside lean to correct for the crosswind. Those who are familiar with riding in crosswinds know that it is both exhausting and potentially dangerous to constantly correct for changes in the speed of the crosswind and maintaining a safe lane position on the road. Overtaking 18-wheelers driving at 75mph is also somewhat hazardous because as you start to overtake them, the crosswind is temporarily blocked and you start to drift closer to the truck being passed. As you accelerate past the front of the truck, you are caught in the huge volumes of air the truck is displacing and the returning crosswind, so you're quickly blown the the left side of your lane. I spent most of the day trying to find those few 'sweet spots' far away from the big trucks to comfortably cruise along at 80mph.
As I mentioned in the previous day's blog, there's no much to see crossing western Texas. Trying to find something to occupy your thoughts hour after hour is truly a challenge. I can see why some overland truckers go a little nuts having to drive this route day after day. I'm very thankful I only have to make that crossing one more time on the way home. I've seen enough of western Texas to last me a lifetime.

With the lack of interesting scenery to snap photos of during my ride, I pulled over for a brief leg stretch somewhere outside of Odessa, TX to get a few pictures of my trusty BMW. I truly love this motorcycle. It purrs like a kitten running 85mph for hours on end, and I'm averaging approximately 54 mpg in fuel consumption. I've developed a complete sense of confidence in this motorcycle that it will carry me all the way home again without any problems whatsoever.
I crossed Ft. Worth, TX at 4pm to briefly get caught in the Friday afternoon rush hour traffic at the freeway interchanges, but quickly breezed through and headed northeast towards Denton, TX. Entering Denton, I again was caught in some rush hour gridlock, this time due to a wreck on the freeway some four miles ahead. I creeped along on the freeway at 10mph for about 30 minutes, but the sun was shining and the temperature was 70 degrees, so I contently tolerated the inconvenience and blissfully putted along until I could get to my desired exit.

I arrived at Mary and Dale Ewald's place at nearly 6:00pm, tired but glad I had arrived at my stopping point for a few days. While here, I intend to get reacquainted with family I haven't seen in years. I'll spend a few days here, then start my trek westward towards home next week, following the same route I rode to get here. Possibly to see if I missed anything? I dunno... I'll keep posting here anyway.

No comments: