Day 16 - Uvalde to Del Rio

This was a special day. I cycled 72 miles (about 115 Km)! Quite an achievement for me. I also reached the 500 Km mark according to my bike computer. But I remember the computer did not function the first couple of days (entirely my fault). Probably I had finished 500Km when I reached Lost Maples.

When I left the motel and turned on to the pavement, I approached a zebra crossing. On the other side of the zebra crossing was a lady pushing a baby stroller. As the light turned green, I prepared myself to cross the zebra crossing without hitting the baby stroller. As we crossed each other, I was surprised to see four baby dolls in the stroller. I looked carefully at the lady, she was actually trans. In those few seconds, I also managed to muster a smile to exchange and hide my astonishment. I hope.

The ride was full of the same landscapes. Texas was becoming boring. Except this: the Nueces River. There was a sheep farm right before the bridge over the river guarded by two efficient white dogs who manage to leap over the fence (if there was one) to chase strangers like me away.

Then there was this old rail bridge.

And then these windmills.
Remember I told you on Day 4 the Park Host in Blanco State Park told me about a guy who was walking all around Texas and planning to cover all the state parks? Guess what, I ran into him! At first, I thought he was a hitchhiker. He was on the other side of the road and had an umbrella hat on so I could not see him clearly. I slowed down and yelled out the customary hitchhikers' greeting from my side of the road. I thought I could offer some food or something so I even stopped. When he raised his head and removed the umbrella from his head, I was stunned to see a really old man! I thought he was homeless or something. He walked up to me and introduced himself as Dave- a 72-year-old man! He had cycled through some famous trail in the US, walked through a few trails already, started this trail in Louisiana in October 2015, and was planning to walk the Rocky Mountain trail after finishing this one. It was...just...I know...was speechless. That is thousands of kilometers! He made me feel so less than ordinary. I asked him if he had been to Blanco State Park and spoken to the Park Host there. He had. It was hilarious to run into each other like that. Hilarious for him. I was still in a state of shock. How could a 72-year-old do all of that?! We spent about half an hour talking to each other sharing our respective stories. I wish I could spend more time with him, but I had to get to Del Rio. So we said goodbye and continued our respective journeys. You can check out his website and you must!

Man of the Post - Dave

I spotted this hill. I thought how lonesome it must be for it to stand there most probably at the periphery of "Hill Country"

And then I saw the name of the ranch within which it stood- Lonesome Hill. Haha!
The sun was draining out all my energy. The first 35 miles to reach Bracketville took forever. I got there at about 5pm. I had a nice, heavy meal at Subway on the highway 90. I called my hosts in Del Rio to check with them if they were all right with me arriving later in the evening. They offered to connect me with somebody in Bracketville to spend the night. But I wanted to achieve the 100Km a day milestone. So with their permission, I pedalled on.

Somehow it's so much easier to bike at night. There's no sun and there's lesser traffic. It's easier to tell there's traffic approaching from behind because of the headlamps. Moreover, biking during the day time is a transient joy. There is something more eternal about the joy of biking under a swarm of stars at night.

I had left Bracketville at about 6:20pm. This is where Del Rio begins. I reached this point at exactly 9pm. It took me significantly lesser time to cover 30 miles at night!

But it took me another hour to find my hosts' place.

Kevin, the head of the host family, was waiting for me around the corner of the street to make sure I did not get lost. The rest of the family had gone to bed already. I took a shower and had dinner as quietly as I could. I slept like a log.


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