I slept from 5pm to 8am in my sleeping bag in a gutter under the interstate in Texas. In a gutter underneath the interstate in Texas. Dr. Seuss forgot to mention that in Oh The Places You’ll Go! I guess my body just needed to be dormant. But it wasn’t really the most enjoyable of sleeps. I woke up periodically to chase after a rogue glove or sock that was swept away by the wind. It’s howl kept me up for quite some time as well, but I was able to tuck myself in tightly into my sleeping bag like I so often did as a little kid to avoid Chuckie. Well, I actually still do that to this day. Needless to say the wind didn’t let up and even got worse. The gutter effectively turned into a wind tunnel and the periodic gusts would haunt me with cackles as they passed by.
So I didn’t get back on the road until about 9am. The wind was just waiting for me. I could have grown livid. I could have thrown my bicycle down and stomped my feet. I could have just sat on the side of the road playing with rocks and waiting for someone to pick me up. Believe me I wanted to do all those things, but that’s not appropriate, nor was it going to get me to San Antonio any faster. So I just grinned and beard it. With the minimal progress being made, I’m not going to lie, I hoped that someone would pull up and offer me a ride to Ozona (my next stop). Then my real dilemma would have kicked in. Do I say yes? I played around with this moral quandary for a while as a tactic to distract me from the fact that unrelenting winds were hindering me to a mere 3 miles per hour as I rode. It worked for a little while.
I sought refuge at a Chevron and asked the lady if she’d seen wind this bad before. “Nope” was all she said with her back turned to me. Eesh, I wasn’t getting any sympathy from her. That’s really all I was fishing for. I wanted someone to feel sorry for me. I certainly wasn’t getting that from nature. That’s the beauty of nature. One day you can be sitting in a field of grass reveling in all her beauty, and another she can have you bent over on the side of the interstate while she takes you to pound town. That’s the way she goes.
I biked a few more miles to a rest area. There I met Terry. She’s a 64 year old truck driver who’s full of life. We talked politics and she told me about her son Aaron Sandusky who is currently facing up to 10 years in prison for owning and operating a medical marijuana clinic in California. His case is a very complicated one and has seen much light on news circuits throughout the country.
Terri also told me about her husband who died when he was only 29 of a brain tumor. The same brain tumor that nearly killed this little boy:
Fortunately his father’s use of Hemp oil as a last resort to save his son’s life worked. Since learning this Terri has been an advocate for the usage of medical marijuana. She harbors some antipathy because she adamantly believes that Hemp oil could have saved her husband’s life and it’s difficult to disagree. We conversed further but as the day grew to night I realized I had to keep biking.
The wind was waiting for me. The past two days have been the most grueling days I’ve faced on his trip. My mental and physical toughness were tested like never before. I was wishing someone would come and offer salvation from this God awful wind. Nope. I thought about giving up. What was I going to do, quit? In the middle of Texas? Maybe call a cab to drive me home. No, I had to keep biking.
Eventually, the wind became too much and I sought refuge yet again underneath the interstate. Plus I became the proud owner of a flat tire. I just threw all my things underneath the gutter. This time was far less invigorating. I slept on a bed of rocks because it was the only section of the bridge that wasn’t consumed with spiders. On occasion, I’d catch a whiff of a decaying carcass somewhere off in the distance. Thanks again for that wind. Oh I forgot to mention that some guy at a rest stop informed me that this part of the country was looking at 60 mph gusts. I don’t know how true that is, but if you ask me, I’d say that sounded about right.
It was a quiet night in my temporary hovel. I wasn’t much for conversation.
If not for this song, I would have stayed at that chevron and tried to hitch a ride to Ozona. Consequentially, I would have felt like less of a man:
Total Ascent: 1261 ft.