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Day 23: Seymour, TX to Wichita Falls, TX

53 Miles - More Vexing Headwind; Comped at Red Roof Inn; Dinner With Zack and Noelle - March 14, 2011

Seymour, Texas
Traveling on the north edge of Seymour, Texas.
The next morning, the winds grew stronger.
North Texas Sky The wind was yet again coming from the north. I mainly biked northeast-east (NEE), which made it a headwind at about a 30 degree angle. That didn't seem too bad, but those winds were whipping at 20-25 mph. Ugh. Another slow day.

The sky was gray and dreary. The lack of sunlight made it chillier than usual. Even with my winter gloves over my cycling gloves, my hands felt uncomfortable with a terrible "pins and needles" effect every so often.

I stopped about five miles into my ride to take this picture. With no protection from that ferocious wind, I wondered if I made a mistake to ride this morning.

North Texas Sky The northerly wind never relented, but the sky did clear and the temperature rose.
Dundee, Texas

Dundee, Texas

What a tough ride. The wind stymied my efforts to gain and maintain a significant speed.

Beyond Mabelle, TX, the next town (Dundee) was 17 miles ahead according to my map. Upon entering, I learned this wasn't much of a town. No stores. No nothing. And so I rested and got protection from that harsh wind under the overhang of the south side of an abandoned building.

Mankins, Texas

Mankins, Texas

I struggled for another five miles to Mankins and rested beside a dilapidated barn. Again, no stores.

Wichita Falls, Texas

Wichita Falls, Texas

Wichita Falls, Texas

Near Holliday, TX, I gained a "second wind" knowing I was so close to Wichita Falls.

And then I made it. 53 miles wasn't a lot, but up to this point, I figured I worked harder today than nearly every previous day besides the climb in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. So stinkin' happy to be finished!

I biked a number of miles on the periphery, went through downtown Wichita Falls, and arrived at the Red Roof Inn on the city's north side.

Red Roof Inn

Generous Gift

Awaiting me at the Red Roof Inn was an envelope.

Remember Dan with the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix? (Read Day 6 in Phoenix.) Well, he had connections in the hotel industry and obtained five Red Roof Inn VIP passes. These passes would allow me to stay at Red Roof Inns for free. Although not many Red Roof Inns were on my route, I'd stay at this one in Wichita Falls, twice in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and twice more in Brunswick, Georgia (after my ride was finished). You can do the math on how much money this man saved me. :)

And as if that wasn't generous enough, Dan threw in $40 and encouraged me to have a steak and beer.

In the largest font size I can use, I want to say ...

Thank you Dan! :)


Mexican Food

Overcoming those crazy winds to Wichita Falls ...
The cash gift and Red Roof Inn VIP passes ...

And yes, the evening got better.

My friends Zack and Noelle of Bowie, Texas drove to Wichita Falls to see me. I've known Noelle for years, as she grew up her entire life in Chaffee County, Colorado. Recently she married Zack (who was working at a ranch in Colorado when they met), and they're currently living in Bowie. We talked about our love for the mountains, Zack's job in the oil industry, and the early stages of Noelle's pregnancy. Most of all, it was so good to see familiar faces.

For dinner, we ate at The Jalapeno Tree, an excellent Mexican restaurant. My pork tamale, green chili enchilada and chicken taco was so good. I'd eat here all the time if I lived in Wichita Falls! :)

The Jalapeno Tree has other locations. Their website is www.jalapenotree.com.

Zack, Noelle and Steve One more photo back at the Red Roof Inn. The lighting was below par, but I love this photo anyway. :)

Also, although I didn't realize it, this was the middle point of my journey. It would take me 46 days to finish, and this was Day 23.

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