Hey, we made it to El Paso! Not easily, mind you, but we are here nonetheless.
The winds continued into the night, really howling around the motorhome. We got up early and were on the road by 7:25. Paula and I stopped for gas before leaving Deming and the people there said that by 10 there would be a wind advisory on the road to Las Cruces. We hustled back onto I-10 and stopped at 8:25 after about 30 miles to wait for Dave and Mike. When they arrived an hour later they were ecstatic about the tailwind that at times helped them peddle almost 30 MPH. Dave had a flat tire somewhere along the way.
On to Las Cruces, just passing by, turning south and stopped at Voda. Dave had another flat before they arrived at 1:00 PM. While Paula and I waited for them to arrive a young man came up to us with a sad story about his wife sitting in their broken down vehicle on the interstate while he came ahead in their second vehicle to get help. The state police had helped him get a tow truck to take the stopped vehicle to Albuquerque for $100 less than the tow company wanted but he was $36 short of the total amount. He assured us that he would pay us back, told us his name was Tim Tyler, that he was a vet, and left his cell phone # with us. We said that our husbands were minutes away and we couldn't do anything until they arrived. He left to go and stay with his wife while we waited for Dave and Mike. The guys came minutes later, we told them the story and when Tim came back Paula and Mike went out to talk to him. We decided that he was sincere. He and his wife were on their way to help take care of his grandfather whose wife had just passed away. In the last year his brother had been killed on a bike ride (not encouraging to us!). We gave him the needed money and told him that instead of paying us back he could donate it to our cause.
We drove on to El Paso, got on a loop road and were able to avoid the city itself.
However Dave called with instructions to find a bicycle shop to get more tubes and buy some more durable tires. (Peter Campbell, your advice about Armadillo tires is finally being followed!) In addition, Mike lost one set of keys this AM so we need to also find a hardware store to have a set made! We had to drive about 10 miles into the city to find the shop suggested by our Adventure Cycling map. Crazy Cat Cycling was easy to find and I went in to try to get help on how to get better strength tubes and tires. They were very helpful and had a supply of tubes to fit the bikes we have and also offered to drive to another of their shops to get the Armadillo tires and be back in an hour. At this point Paula and I decided to scour the motorhome and trailer for the keys before going to the hardware store to have a new set made (about 6 or 7 keys in all). We looked through all of Mike's pockets, the cupboard with their clothes, and in all the nooks and crannies of the living area. i went back into our bedroom and started shaking all of Dave's clothes out to see if I could hear anything. Aha, in Dave's jeans pocket are the keys! It is not Mike who has lost them and later he tells us how relieved he is that he is not at fault.
Dave called saying he had had another flat and they wouldn't make it to the shop before dark. We would have to drive back 10 miles to pick them up and then back to the cycle shop. The bicycle shop closed at 8 and we got back there at 7:45. Dave approved of what had been selected and we drove away to find an RV park in the dark. We had called ahead and reserved a spot. We stopped for a bite to eat as no one had the energy to cook tonight. We found the park with only a few missed turns. It is not the greatest but has hook-ups and a pull-through for our lengthy motorhome and trailer.
The total flats count now is at 12. Everyone we talk to says it is very common in this part of the country due to the cactus spines. Dave and Mike say it is a combination of spines and the remnants of shards of steel from the steel radial tires on the big semis. Whatever, it certainly slows progress.
We are a little ahead of the planned route so now the next two days won't be quite so grueling. This is our 4th state out of 8 but will take the longest to cross. We are looking forward to seeing Dave's brother Paul in Alpine (he is flying down from CO) and Katy will join us in Austin where we will also see our niece Lisa Millman, who is a firefighter there. My brother Dean and sister-in-law Betty will come up to see us from Houston. Our day off doesn't come until Sunday!!!!!
Got to get some shut-eye!
Love and blessings,