61 Miles - Rural West Texas Plains; Biked Through Gail, TX;
Days Inn In Snyder, TX - March 11, 2011
Glenda shuttled me back to U.S. Highway 180, and off I went on the Texas plains.
Nothing out there!
Then the landscape changed. The road made some turns.
A mesa in west Texas? Wow. It was a nice change in scenery. :)
21 miles in and doing well.
As I came closer to Gail, TX, this (dare I call it a ...) mountain was on the right.
Gail is the county seat of Borden County, Texas.
The 2000 U.S. Census tallied 729 county residents, making it the least populated county in all of Texas.
It was named after Gail Borden, Jr., a resident who invented condensed milk. Yes,
somehow she was connected to today's Borden Dairy products.
Not much existed in Gail.
As for services for a cyclist, a small grocery store with a lunch grill was open.
I rested on the steps of the Borden County Courthouse.
Outside was a historical marker about the Texas Land Rushes
in the early 20th century. Ranchers and new settlers duked it
out during a land grab that began in 1902.
Honestly, I laugh when I hear people long for
the "good ol' days" of previous eras, as if somehow people were more
moral and kind to each other. Nope, people seemed
as selfish and cruel to one another as they can be today.
East of Gail.
Advantage: The wheel ruts in the road were smooth enough
to help me build speed, and not many cars were out to send me back on the shoulder.
Snyder was my destination for today. It seemed like your typical small and
conservative west Texas town with economic roots in oil and ranching.
It is a bit larger though, at 10,000+ people.
TOP: Approaching downtown Snyder.
SECOND: Sean Kennedy told me much about Snyder, as this was the town he grew up in.
He sarcastically said the "biggest attraction" was the
buffalo statue on the town's square. There it is! :)
On the east side of Snyder, I stopped
at a convenience store that sold Pepsis in old-style glass
bottles that required a bottle opener. I drank it with passion
to celebrate today's 61 mile ride.
Wonderful Gesture Of Generosity - Days Inn in Snyder, Texas
I traveled to the east side of Snyder,
where a cluster motels existed.
In the distance was the "mom and pop" motel that
was recommended by Sean, and I figured I'd stay there.
But first I passed a Days Inn on the right. This is usually the kind of place that's
too expensive for me, but without much thought or explanation,
I stopped and asked what their rate was for the heck of it.
The owner saw my bike and my sweaty, humble appearance.
He asked what I was doing, and I told him. He said, "There's no question you are doing something great.
The rate would be $79 tonight, but I want to give you a room for $25 plus tax."
He also gave me a $10 voucher to a nearby bar & grill. Unbelievable!
And so, the Days Inn would be my lodging post for the evening.
As I walked my bike to my motel room, I felt privileged and special.
I had a big grin on my face. I smiled even more when I saw the quality amenities of my room.
Looking back, I think that night was one big smile. :)
Obviously I am biased in my recommendation,
but if you're even in Snyder, Texas, I recommend the Days Inn. The owner
seemed like a very kind man, and someone who cared deeply about providing
a top quality Days Inn experience to all his guests.
Maybe you won't get the same rate as I did,
but they did support me and deserve recognition.
I did use that food voucher,
but first I ate at a nearby Dairy Queen. I love their patty melts!
I also read literature from a north central Texas tourism booklet.
Look at how tiny those
northeastern states are
when placed on a Texas map!
My southern route wouldn't allow for this, but how neat
it would be to ride a long distance, say 90-110 miles,
and bike through at least one or two states in a day.
Not only was there a coffee maker in the room, but a second package of decaf coffee.
Excellent! So grateful.
EXTRA NOTE: I invite you to read my book about my first trip in 2008.