Day 17 on the Southern Tier Route

An easy day. Up at 7:30 A.M. after a pleasant night in the Beehive. Breakfast at the Gage Hotel and on the road at 8:30 A.M. Fog lay over the landscape mostly in the distance but sometimes along the highway. Minimal traffic allowed me to ride on the edge of the pavement where the road surface was smoother. The highway gained elevation gradually for 15 miles to Lemmon's Gap. The rock units at the gap were tilted vertically, reflecting ancient mountain building. After the gap, the fog disappeared and the valley widened and the mountains lowered. Vegetation became more dominated by desert shrubs. Few ranch houses were visible form the road. After another 15 miles, I stopped at a picnic spot for a water and snack break. During the last 25 miles of the day, the wind picked up and my pace slowed. I arrived in Sanderson at 1:00 P.M. The photo shows Sanderson's claim to fame as the Cactus Capital of Texas. I got my tires pumped up at a tire store. After getting a bite to eat, I decided to stay in a motel to rest for my 90-mile day tomorrow. I could have gone farther and camped at a rest stop in 30 miles, but I wasn't sure that I would have enough water to get me through the rest of today and 30 miles tomorrow. The weather forecast for tomorrow looks good. 54.5 miles today.

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