Well, I made it! All 111 miles. Actually my odometer registered 112. I'll take all the miles I can get. We got an early start, as soon as the sun came up, from Sanderson. I was in the first group to leave, and felt really great for the first 20-30 miles. There were several interesting sites. Elon, I saw the Terrell County airport. It looked like a little airstrip from the road. Maybe there was more to it than I could see. We passed an overturned semi on the other side of the road. Another trucker was calling for help and didn't seem too excited. We were all concerned about what would have happened if he had been on our side! We may never find out the end of that story. Even the train engineers are friendly to us as they blew their horns in greeting as we passed. Deer are not only a problem in Georgia. Two jumped out in front of our group and nearly hit the first cyclists.
The good feeling of the morning was soon replaced with some cramping in my back…first time for that pain. After some Advil and a back massage from the SAG driver, I was on my way. The van was at mile 60 with lunch waiting near an abandoned gas station. There was an old couple there who had tales to tell and music for our dining. When was the last time you heard "tra la la twiddle de de de it gives me a thrill, to wake up in the morning to the mockingbird's trill"? A couple of our group had on jerseys that said it all.
There was a side trip to Langtry Visitor's Center, http://www.texasescapes.com/TOWNS/Texas_ghost_towns/Langtry_Texas/Langtry_Texas.htm that I elected not to do because of extra mileage. (Anybody heard of Judge Roy Bean?) In hind site, I should have eaten more at lunch.
Our next SAG was at the mouth of Pecos River, which flows from the Rio Grand at this point (mile 78). Again, I neglected to take advantage of more than one snack. Big mistake!
At mile 91, I was really struggling. At the first convenience store of the day, I had Gator Ade, V-8, bananas and cookies. The SAG driver was very supportive and encouraged me to sit for a while until I felt better. I must have had a serious drop in blood sugar. It's called "Bonking". Because of this delay, I was the last one to leave the store. But, I did catch Outrun (our 70 year-old amazing woman) after a while. Even at this point, there was a bit of humor. Just after passing the Border Patrol checkpoint the SAG driver came back looking for us. Not thinking about how it would look, she made a "u" turn just in front of the checkpoint. Needless to say, the border guard came after her with lights flashing. When she got out of the car, she told him she was from Hawaii and they didn't have border patrol there! After a bit of explaining he let her go. For the last 6-8 miles, I would get ahead of Outrun, then stop and wait for her. Our final challenge was the Reservoir Bridge over Lake Amistad (http://www.nps.gov/amis/), a reservoir shared by the U.S. and Mexico. The bridge was narrow with no shoulder and very rough pavement. Fortunately, it was late in the day and little traffic. I waited for Outrun at the end of the bridge so we could ride the last 1 1/2 miles together into the motel. The group had already started eating their pizza, but gave us a standing ovation! We made it!
That night, all I wanted to do was take a shower and fall into bed. My right hand felt a bit numb from holding the handlebars so long. So I didn't even write in my journal until the next day. And, I fell asleep with a smile on my face, knowing I had conquered the longest mileage day of our trip.