Now Starting Texas on the Southern Tier: Virtual El Paso to Van Horn - Total over 1000 miles.
The story goes that Billy broke into the jail to get a friend. https://visitelpaso.com/places/billy-the-kid-jail
San Elizario is a town of of 10,093 and an elevation of 3642'. It is part of the El Paso metropolitan area.
A roadrunner can run up to 26 mph. When they go across the road in front of you , you cannot get your camera out fast enough. They can fly, but they will usually run. Beep, Beep! I loved those cartoons. I will keep my eyes peeled for a sighting.
Gradually gaining elevation. From 3642' to 4528' in a couple days.
At Van Horn the elevation is 4042' and that meant a little downhill into town. Van Horn is the furthest western town in the US to use the Central Time Zone. I am only 1 time zone from my home time, but I have a long way to go to my destination. I have now traveled just over 1000 miles.
The temperatures were in the 80s which is much better than the many days near 100. The first ten miles on today's ride was gradual gain and then we had shorter rollers. Later in the ride we had a stiff headwind.
We are about 700 miles from LA and this has long been a popular overnight stop for travelers. Currently there are 13 motels with over 300 rooms available. In the mid 20th century this was one of the few places in the area that accepted black guest. El Paso was another spot for black travelers to find a room.
in 1881 this was the meeting place of the second transcontinental railroad. There are two wineries in the area. Agriculture and transportation are the mainstays of the economy now. Two state parks are close and sound interesting. City of Rocks has many rock formations and at Rockhound park you may see many different minerals.
The first places started in 1946; combined and went with a cute theme of the old west town.
Las Cruses has 111,000 people and is the largest city in southern NM. It is the home of NM State University. The White Sands Test Facility and Missile Range are close by.
I am now through NM and that is the 3rd state of this virtual tour. I have covered 880 miles. I now enter Texas and below you see the position at the red dot. I have a long way until Louisiana.
William Boyce Thompson was a mining engineer in this area. He created this beautiful spot in 1924. What a wonderful thing to do. This is the oldest and largest botanical garden in AZ. This area is called the Sonorian Desert. The gardens attract some unusual animals. Be aware.
A couple of things I noticed and they are connected. Cell service when you are on the road away from cities may be spotty. Plan your motel destination before you leave the town. You can always get the room when you arrive, if the season is not too busy.
This tunnel opened up in 1952 and has three lanes. It is 1217' long and the grade is 6%. At that pitch I am walking. Be sure to travel with bike lights. We continued up to Top of the World.
Globe, like many towns took off as precious metals were found. In 1875 silver was discovered and then copper. Globe still has one of the few copper smelters. Old Dominion mining operation below.
Part of the fun of bike touring is learning new things. We go through the town of Peridot and learn that it is named after a mineral found in basalt. I remember that basalt is from volcanic activity.
This area in managed by the Federal Government, BLM. A permit is required and only 50 people a day are given access. This is why planning ahead is a good practice.
In reading my friends posts during his ride across California he daily mentioned the heat and how is was rough because of that. The group traveling together ranged in age from 68-71. Some areas are lacking services. Be sure to keep hydrated and bring plenty of liquids.
Quartzite is a popular winter RV spot. This town has several thousands of residents.
This monument is on the National Registry of Historical Places. Hi Jolly ( Hadji Ali) was from the Ottoman Empire and brought to the U.S. to drive camels for the Calvary. Camel usage did not catch on in this area. What an interesting fact to find out.
On this ride you are happy for shade, AC, cold drinks and a break from the Sun and heat. The city of hope had an RV park, service station, antique store and church. My hopes were met. Salome had a motel and that is where we stayed. Share rooms and share expenses. Salome has 1500 people.
Even in September and October you are dealing with heat on this route. You can see from the photos that you will feel gritty at the end of the day. A good shower and wash out of the kit will set you up for the next day. The complimentary breakfast helps get you going. As I have aged. I appreciate the comfy bed when riding day after day. Wickenburg has close to 8000 people and there were several choices of motels.
Peoria is a major suburb of Phoenix with 190,000 people. We appreciated the designated trail to separate us from traffic.
I will not take the couple months to travel across the country, but I do ride my bike every day. I will ride for an hour or two. As I follow a route generated by Google maps. A couple of years ago a friend did this route with five other friends. You may find he journal on Crazy Guy on a Bike dot org web site. Two other travelers did journals. Look under the names Jim Walter, Ed Shultz, Rich Ostrowski. This trip started on September 10th.
I passed this and checked it out. You need a reservation to use the lake. It is one of 9 reservoirs used by the city of San Diego. This current dam was built 100 years ago. I guess the reservations help preserve the water quality. We all know that is important.
Bring your water and stay hydrated. This is a desert area.
I love my riding days and look to find interesting and informative items to share.
Pacific Coast Highway