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Oct 07

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Day 3: A Natural Refuge

The alarm from my phone went off at 6:45.  This was one hour before sunrise.  In the cool morning of Seminole Canyon, I really wanted to stay in the sleeping bag a tad longer.  But knowing that it takes me about an hour to pack every morning, my nagging subconscious insisted that I needed to get packing, and five minutes later the process began.  So, I packed as much as I could inside the warm refuge of the tent, and then I the rest got done.  Yep, the cold front that blew through the desert yesterday brought the temperature down into the forties. 
I bundled up a bit more than usual when I put my gear on, and then I was off, on the next leg of this desert journey that has been anything but yur run of mill hot and dry trip so far. 
The road out of the park took me through Highway 90, and while the sun was out I still needed the grip warmers installed on the handlerbars.  The morning was beautiful, nonetheless, and the winding hilly roads were glorious.  I passed the Pecos River, and to my left and right I could see turkey vultures, sitting on fence posts and warming themselves.  How I whished I could do just that.  Further down I saw a number of border patrol cars, driving alongside the road on a gravelly path that seemed to had been built just for them.  They were dragging three big tires tied to their vehicles with chains.  Quite bizarre I would say, but I was not curious enough to make me stop and ask the purpose of this.  Sometimes it is better to just entertain the mind with guessing games. 
One of the persistent annoyances of the day was another guessing game, “Where will you find fuel next?”. Mr. GPS was not the most helpful companion, as it only seems to know where gas can be found in major cities or towns.  I know from experience that since I tend to take secondary roads, there ain’tmuch help there.  As signs for towns announced the distance to them, I continuously engaged in the guessing game of “Can you make it”.  I eventually made it to Sanderson, where I did find gas, and some needed breakfast burritos.  From there it was North to Fort Stockton, and then Pecos, at the intersection of Insterstate 20.  This brought back an old memory, since this is one place where Adelina and I stopped for gas on our way to Scripps College, California, when she and I took the long way as she was getting ready to start college.
I was hoping to find a good place for lunch there, but managed to not make a decision, and just got some nuts and dried fruits, as well as gas.  This is where the real guessing game started, especially since I forgot to reset my fuel odometer.  My next stop was to be Hueco Tanks, and by my calculations it was to far to go on a single tank.  Yet, there was not much to do besides to ride on.  One of the most spectacular landscapes and roads come as I rode along side the Guadalupe Mountains.  The park, of course, remains closed since it is a National Park, and certain people in Washington decided that it was a small price to pay to allow the parks to remain closed while they argue and count threads of lint in their belly buttons.
Past the Guadalupes was a wonderful Salt Lake, and after taking some pictures of the turquoise sky reflected on the salty pools , the next things was to get back to the calculations game.  Based on the number of bars on my fuel gauge, things looked dicey. According to the GPS, there was a small town 13 miles of my route, with a gas station.  This was a gamble I had to take.  If the station was not there, I would have wasted 26 miles of fuel. While Mr. GPS took note of the station’s phone number, I had no phone service in the area.  So the gamble was on.  I rode the 13 miles into town, passing though the agricultural landscape that leads to Dell City.  Once I got there, I made it to the gas station.  However, my other concern proved to be true: being Sunday afternoon, it was closed, and the pumps had no credit card slots.  Some of my compadres were working construction there, and giving me the cut throat hand signs, confirmed the obvious.  However, they also indicated that just a few blocks up was one that was in operation.  So, while Mr. GPS had been right, my suspicions has been also been right.  However, an unmapped station, and God’s provision saved the day.
I made it to Hueco Tanks after a 420 mile ride today.  This place is a true oasis in the desert, where wholes in the rocks hold water way after the rest of the local streams and draws have dried out.  They have supported life and people for thousands of years, and the park is home to some wonderful prehistoric art on the crevices that provided refuge to many.  Just so, my wish is that this journey will motivate you to help provide refuge and protection, to help provide life, to those who today are victims of [modern day] salvery.  Please join me in supporting the work of the Polaris Project and International Justice Miss

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.jaderiderjourneys.com/2endslavery/2013/10/07/day-3-a-natural-refuge/

1 comment

  1. Sandra

    forgot to ask if you glimpsed the ORGAN MOUNTAINS?

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