14degrees off the beaten track
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March 5th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,USA (Texas)

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Today’s distance / ???????: 45 miles / 75km
Average speed / ????: 7.5mph / 12km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 5h 30m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 3164mi plus 280mi (?) / 5092km plus 450km (?)
Ascent / ??: 240
Descent / ??: 495
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N31.23.14.9, W105.58.35.4

Another day of negative thoughts fueled by a headwind and rough road surfaces. I gave up on the concrete expressway and rumbled along the rough chipseal access roads.

Feeling down in headwinds near Sierra Blanca, Texas, USA

I met some more cyclists today going in the opposite direction. I mentioned to them that the rough roads were tough going on a skateboard. “But you’re enjoying it, right?” they asked. No. The answer is no. No I am not enjoying what I am doing right now. This is not fun. This month or so that it has taken so far to cross Texas by skateboard feels like a month that I will never regain. A month wasted. A month of nothing but exhausting hell. A waste of delicious scenery that I have missed with my head down pushing across rough roads. Head down into the wind. I will be back one day to do this all again. On a bicycle. On a recumbent bicycle. Head up, moving in comfort.

State Road TX20 was a welcome respite to the rough roads. A consistently smooth asphalt road, I pushed on as far as I could, despite the headwind. I knew that a headwind was forecast for tomorrow also, so I wanted to get as many miles done today as possible. Miles that I would never have to repeat again by skateboard. Get them behind me.

The land has well and truely flattened out here. Borderland. Mexico a mere 10 miles or less away. US farmers plowing cotton fields with the Mexican mountains in the not so far distance.

Cotton field preparations near Fort Hancock, Texas, USA

Fort Hancock was a sleepy little border town. Relics of once hopeful businesses abounded.

Beer has gone in Fort Hancock, Texas, USA

The border, only a mile away in places, made this whole area have an inexplicable air to it. Forgotten but tense with unseen presence of…something. Border Patrol vehicles passed on regular intervals…

One mile to the border in Fort Hancock, Texas, USA

I loaded up with food in Fort Hancock and continued on. Just before sundown, I trespassed across a field and into some sand dunes to camp. As the light faded, lights from the nearby Mexican town of Esperanza began to define themselves into an unmistakable clump of town lights. No wonder there are so many illegal immigrants in the US from Mexico….

Desert campsite near Acala, Texas, USA

Dinner tonight was unexpectedly great. Blackeye peas, tuna, and sour cream tortillas with tabasco. The tortillas made it though. Fresh handmade tortillas from a small grocery in Fort Hancock. Nice soft tortillas that tasted like tortillas, rather than the chemicals that they put into the ones you get at the big supermarkets. Great end to another tough day.

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