February 2, 2016 – Sunny, 80 degrees
Miles Today: 74
Miles to Date: 11,288
States to Date: 28
The earth stretches out from Del Rio toward San Antonio. The desert brush gets dense. Plants with leaves emerge, actual trees. The creeks run in trickles, the rivers run green. The land begins to undulate, to fold. I see my first spring green, tiny leaves tinged with a base of gold flutter in the breeze. I spin out of West Teas’ canyons, and enter Hill Country.
I left early, leery of whether the wind would be friend or foe. I passed Chapa’s Bakery in Del Rio; of course I had to carb up on Mexican pastries The young man behind the counter was friendly; we discussed my trip while he waited on other customers. The rhythm of a place like Chapas in a town like Del Rio, which is 90% Hispanic, is so much less rushed than the typical drive through Dunkin’ Donuts back East. People take their time choosing which pastries they want and placing them on round trays. They chat while they pay. One particularly ample Gringo omitted Mexican pastries from his tray: only traditional donuts to fill his gut.
The robust wind pushed me along more than it braked my progress. I passed many huge ranches with elaborate gates. Lonesome Hill was suitably spare. There were no cattle beyond the gate, however, but acres and acres of solar collectors. A new type of ranch. I took a break at one of Texas’ lovely roadside picnic spots, and pedaled into Uvalde by mid-afternoon.