Days 20 and 21: March 24 and 25, Alpine to Marathon


This is what we’ve been looking at for all of West Texas

Much of Texas, well much of the Southwest, is challenging for this kind of trip because there are great big distances between any signs of civilization, food, water, places to sleep, etc. One of those stretches is between Sanderson, TX and the Comstock/Del Rio area, where you go 90+ miles right along the Texas-Mexico boarder with no services. So when we didn’t make it to Sanderson from Marathon, and suddenly had significant worries about the potential of wind to turn our plans to mush, we decided that we needed some riding buddies for the upcoming stretch.

When we stayed at the Warm Showers in Safford, AZ, we stayed there along with a crew of 4 cyclists from Harrisburg, PA named Sharon, Richard, Tim and Cindy. They’re all between 55 and 65 years old and completely awesome, and when we looked at our map and got worried about getting to Del Rio alone, we decided to find them on the interwebs and reach out. Fortunately we got in touch with Sharon, who shared their plans and so we took that as a sign that they wouldn’t mind if we tagged along until we get to more populated parts.


The view from our campsite in Marathon

So we rode from Alpine to Marathon, which is just over 30 miles, for another breezy (in the wrong direction) but short day.We stopped there because the Fearsome Foursome (our new friends) weren’t going to leave Marathon until 2 days later, so we waited around.  It feels so luxurious to get into places early and not spend 8 hours on the bike! But the slogan of Marathon is “Marathon: Where There’s Nothing To Do!” And that is the truth. We tried to get a late lunch but everything closed at 3, so we sat around until things opened back up at 5:30. And by “things” I mean “thing”, because there was only one open bar/restaurant, where we sampled more local beers and got a heaping plate of nachos.


Just in case we’d forgotten where we were

The next day, Wednesday, we took a day off in Marathon so that we could leave with the Fearsome Foursome the next morning. We did some good things: a giant breakfast at the one diner in town that was open, we made a big fire at our campground and logged onto wifi and streamed American Hustle, which was good, at dinner at the other open place in town (Anita’s Restaurant, which was actually just the back room in some lady’s house), got s’mores makings and ate a lot of s’mores! Days off are great.


Sunrise in Marathon


Rest day activities


The “get that damn camera out of my face” look I’ve come to love and ignore