14degrees off the beaten track
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February 26th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,USA (Texas)

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Today’s distance / ???????: 50 miles / 80km
Average speed / ????: 8.6mph / 14km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 5h 02m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 2979mi plus 271mi (?) / 4725km plus 436km (?)
Ascent / ??: 400m
Descent / ??: 290m
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N30.21.23.3, W103.39.29.1

I slept in till 7am this morning. I felt I needed it. Plus, at this altitude, it’s getting less hot in the afternoons. At 7am, a strong NE was blowing. Bit Ns and Es. Through the sky. That would be behind me, I thought excitedly as I gingerly extricated myself from my tent. My left arm was in a bad shape. I couldn’t lift it more than shoulder height without it hurting lots. And lots. Putting on my jersey was tough. As was putting on my pack. Or any other movement requiring moving my arm.

By the time I finished packing everything away, the NE had stopped blowing. I shook my fist at the wind. Darn wind. It is plotting against me.

Joshua tree along US90 10 miles east of Marathon, Texas, USA

I needn’t have worried however, it was downhill most of the way to Marathon, 20 miles away. By the time I got to Marathon, I had an average speed of 10.3mph. Downhill with a nice side/tailwind.

Plateau 15 miles east of Marathon, Texas, USA

This 20 miles was perhaps the best 20 miles of Texas so far. Smooth silky tarry road, massive plateau all around.

Plateau 15 miles east of Marathon, Texas, USA (360 degree panorama)

Massive desert goodness. Up close and far away.

Joshua tree along US90 10 miles east of Marathon, Texas, USA

My arm continued to hurt, and the gash on my hip rubbed on my hip belt. I slackened the hip belt off, my shoulders hurt. Ah, what a pitiful creature I am. I laughed out loud at the absurdity of it all. From Marathon, the road turned into the wind. Har har. Who cares? I enjoyed a good strong skate for the remainder of the afternoon.

Mirage 15 miles west of Marathon, Texas, USA

Mirages flowed across the road, wild pigs waddled, wild deer bounded gracefully across the boundless terrain despite the fences.

I arrived in Alpine in good time. I made a stop at the local grocery store, happy to be able to buy some fresh fruit. Below, every human powered traveler’s nightmare.

Oh no! Out of bananas! (Apline, Texas, USA)

I met Rose, my Couchsurfing host for the next few days, at the grocery store.

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    Permanent Link     Comments (3)

Comment by brad — March 8, 2008 @ 5:38 pm | post a comment

Sorry to hear about your crash! After experiencing a similiar crash myself, I highly recommend getting it checked out by an expert. The cuts will heal, but the lack of mobility and pain in your left arm might stick around for a long time (I waited four months before I finally decided to see a doctor, and now I wish that I had done it sooner).

good luck!

Comment by Aunty Les — March 9, 2008 @ 7:43 pm | post a comment

How high are you? Interesting photos.

Comment by Llisa Jones — March 10, 2008 @ 9:02 am | post a comment

I too, am glad you had that helmet on…we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

hope you are feeling better now.


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