If I’m sleeping in Fort Stockton, I’m sleeping in Fort Stockton. I tried the doors to all the buildings on the Fort, but they were locked. So I decided to set up my hammock near the Fort’s church. The land the Fort was built on is actually private land, so it was a little risky camping here, but c’mon I didn’t bike all the way out here to not spend at least one night on a Fort. I opted not to put up the rainfly so I could stare at the stars. Plus there was no way it was going to rain so it wasn’t necessary. I woke up in the middle of the night soaked. I failed to take into account the sprinklers which turned on in the middle of the night. That kinda blew. Luckily it wasn’t that cold of a night, so I survived.
This Texas wind kicked my ass. “When you ride east, you’ll have tailwinds the whole way.” The whole way. That’s what they all told me. Well where are they now? I went about 5 miles in 2 hours. I haven’t felt wind this fierce since the open plains of South Dakota. I was going absolutely nowhere and growing exponentially aggravated as each gust ripped at my face. I had to find cover. I found a mini-bridge and ducked out of the winds path for a few hours. Under the bridge, I began to feel myself slowly developing troll-like characteristics much like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. So I got back on the road with the hopes that the wind might have died down, or at the very least changed direction. Neither.
I got back under another bridge. Here I was able to rest for an hour or so. If there’s one thing I need more than food or water, its uninterrupted rest. I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a solid 8 hours of sleep. Or 6 for that matter. It’s tough to rest easy in a bed that’s not your own, or in a barn, or in a McDonalds, or on a bathroom floor. Ah, I salivate at the prospect of sleeping for 16 straight hours in my bed when I get home.
While maneuvering once more through the winds I stopped and politely asked them “This is because I peed on Fort Stockton, while yelling ‘send in the cavalry!’ isn’t it?” A roaring gust blew my bike over and nearly took me with it. I took that as a yes.
Trying to ride through this wind was a waste of time. I figured that maybe the wind would die down around sunset. So around 5 pm I tucked all of my belongings in to another one of those oversized gutters. I literally slept in the gutter last night. LOOK AT ME MA! I’M A REAL LIFE GUTTER PUNK! All that was missing was an empty wine bottle and a collection of shattered dreams. Not this night. I was loving it. Free from the wind, get as decent few hours rest on the concrete floor, who could ask for more? I just laughed out loud. That was all I could do. This trip has reduced me to sleeping in a gutter to avoid the mean old winds of west Texas. I haven’t washed my body since Roswell, NM and I’m singing the theme song to The Jeffersons to maintain a balanced consciousness.
Is this the worst trip? No way Jose.
Total Ascent: 383 ft.