October 3, 2001

10/3/01 Seminole Canyon

61.3 / 8828 miles

I left before Paul came back to open the store this morning. Still a chill in the air, so I wore my jacket for a few miles.

If it's possible, I think today is even more desolate than yesterday. Miles and miles in all directions, nothing but barren scrub land. Even the vultures seem to avoid this area. Made good time but the headwinds began to build early.

Forty miles of nothing later, I reached Langtry, made famous by Judge Roy Bean. The saloon where he dispensed justice is still standing in almost perfect condition. He named his home out back, the "Opera House" in hopes that he might convince English actress, Lillie Langtry, to visit the town. She did eventually come through but a few months after the judges death in 1904. He presided over the "law west of the Pecos" for 20 years.

Had lunch at the Wagon Wheel. My maps didn't indicate any place to eat so it was a very welcome surprise. The Mr and Mrs cooked up a good burger that hit the spot. But by the time I was ready to get back on the road, the headwinds seemed to be at gale force.

I know the wind and I have a love-hate relationship, but today seemed as if all the demons in the world were trying to stop me from getting to Denton. Plus, because I was near the Rio Grand again, the terrain began to resemble a long series of ripples in the sand. I hate, just hate to pedal downhill. But I did, a lot!

I think the next 20-miles were harder than all 40-miles I did this morning. Crossed the Pecos River and came to the Seminole Canyon State Historical Park. Some of North America's oldest rock paintings are here but can only be viewed with a ranger. The first tour isn't until 10AM, so I guess I miss this too.

Besides the campground host, there is only one other RV here. John says that by next month, this park will be full. He recommended the site with the best view, "but don't forget your payment." I guess $10 isn't too bad because they do have free showers too.

As I finished pitching my tent on the rock-hard platform, my RV neighbor came by to offer me dinner. Turns out I had met Bob and Lois Green in Langtry. I didn't realize it because they had been traveling on a motorcycle. They'd been full-time RVer's for a year but before that had traveled for years on motorcycles. "I got jealous of the people we saw in the motor homes in short sleeves and smiling while we were riding in a cold driving rain." Bob says. By taking the motorcycle on the back, they get to choose when to ride.

With the wind still howling outside, I had wondered how I was going to cook. Lois whipped me up something in no time flat, plus cookies for dessert. They were from Chester, NY, on the Appalachian Trail, so we talked about that among other things. I must have spent several hours talking to my new-found-friends. Lois even encouraged me to get my story published.

On to Del Rio tomorrow with hopefully little headwind.