Misery is sometimes unavoidable.
When I called Dear Cassie about joining the Southern Tier this year I told her my big reservation was crossing Texas again. The people and landscape are wonderful but the chipseal roads are atrocious. I finally decided I could put up with them for the wonderful parts of the ride.
Today the chipseal starts.
Yesterday I visited St Patrick’s Cathedral in El Paso
and gave thanks for the ride…also lit two candles one for my mother and one for Cherry Pie’s mom. As I was leaving I did something a bit unusual, asked for something for myself
“ God, please get my buns and fillings safely through the chipseal”.
Doesn’t hurt to ask…
I leave very early today at 6:45 before anyone else on a 95 mile ride to Sierra Blanca. It ends up no one catches the White Rabbit until mile 60 so I set a good pace.
At mile 42 I am at the border with the Rio Grande to my right and Mexico just across the River.
I stop for a picture and say a silent prayer for the father and daughter who drowned trying to cross not long ago.
And then, right at that spot, the chipseal begins. I immediately feel sorry for myself as the rattling begins but just as quickly my thoughts turn to those we are riding for, people with MS. I think of the misery of this disease striking in so many ways, the constant uncertainty of what will happen next, and realize that my buns can put up with three weeks of suffering if what I am doing helps those individuals.
And then a small miracle… the rough chip seal from two years ago has been packed down a bit and the pain is just at 50% level.
”Well I can deal with this today” and I ride on. I am moving so fast I bypass both the first two water stops getting water from a fire station at about 55 miles. At 60 miles the speedster finally passes me and fades in the distance only to go into a flooded muddy area which I knew to avoid because I read my tweets.
At 66 miles two more have caught up with me and we stop at a roadside cafe on I 10… we have to ride the interstate in a few spots. French fries and Pepsi will get me the rest of the way.
Then begins a 10 mile climb to Mount Sierra Blanca
and a 10 mile drop to a church where we will spend the night.
The town of Sierra Blanca is a wasteland but there is a small “ mom and pop” cafe with wonderful homemade food and we have decided to have a group meal there.
All in all the Misery never really showed up today…but I have faith it will in time.
I and my buns are grateful for today.
Maybe I should pray to St Patrick more often…
PS Today we passed 1000 miles.