Day 4 - Blanco to Comfort

I wanted to leave at 10. But ended up talking to the old couple whom I had bothered to figure out where to pitch my tent. They're from Wisconsin. The husband told me that looking at me brought back some good memories of his bike trip that he had undertaken with his friend 35 years ago. I forget their route but they covered 1400 miles in 13 days! I was embarrassed. I covered about 35 per day on the first two days.

Then an old lady came up to me to talk to me. She was the "Park Host" (staff that stays behind in the park to assist the guests). She lives by herself with her dog- most probably a wire fox terrier because it looked like Snowy. She asked me questions about me and Brownie. She told me about a guy who was there at the campsite a few days ago  He was planning to walk all around Texas visiting all the state parks- about 90 or so. She asked me something because of which I ended up telling her about my recent experiences- about Pete, Sarah, Yellow Bike, Kimberly and Ray. She offered some chicken soup. But I had to leave. I had decided to get to Comfort. That was about 45 miles away, and it was already 11 o'clock.

I saw some breathtaking scenery and a dead raccoon. 

But I had to bike in the face of the wind. That was not nice. But it was a good first lesson because I will have to do that pretty often.

See those flags?
With the wind and the sun becoming unbearable, I decided to put on my glares and try the "third eye" that Pete gifted- a tiny rear view mirror that can be attached to any pair of sunglasses. A very useful gadget!

At some point the front derailer gave up. I was shifting from the second to the first gear and the chain got jammed in a way that I panicked. Even the pedals did not move. But thanks to Pete's training, I figured it out at this spot. Had lunch, rested for a bit and moved on after spotting a llama.

Can you spot the llama?

There was this 10-mile-long road that I had all to myself. Only one car passed me by. Just one! But it was an extremely hilly road. I did curse Ray a little for including it in the route. There was a mile-long hill to climb among many others. I could only manage half of it. I had to walk Brownie for the second half.

This is the point from where
I had to walk Brownie

The view from the top of the hill

Downhills make me so happy. Some things about bike touring are not like life.

I was about 12 miles away from Comfort when it got dark. Animals start coming out at dark. Normally, deer would be scared to come close but this one doe came up almost as if she wanted to say something. But I had to keep moving. There weren't too many cars either. It was just me and Brownie (and a hare or a skunk crossing the road here and there and some green, glowing eyes on both sides of the road too scared to come close) under a swarm of stars in the dark- an unforgettable ride.

I arrived in Comfort and found the RV Park that Ray had shortlisted for me online. I asked an old lady for directions to the office. She asked me where I was from. She said, "Welcome to the United States!" Seeing Brownie and all the luggage, she then asked me where I was headed. I told her. She very nicely said, "I'll pray for you!" I went to the office. Penny remembered that we had called. She asked me about my trip. She said I would meet so many nice people along the way. She noticed my gloves. Hers were just regular gloves with holes in the fingers. I told her mine were a gift from someone. I told her how I had already met so many nice people. How, in fact, Ray was somebody I did not even know. How Kimberly had invited me over. When it was time to pay, Penny decided to waive off the camping charges. You see, kindness is contagious.

I could afford a nice taco salad and a hot fudge shake at DQ. I needed the calories. Did not have the energy to cook anyway. Had a long warm shower and snugly went to bed.


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