Trip Log – Day 211 – El Paso, TX to Fort Hancock, TX

To Fort HancockJanuary 25, 2016 – Overcast, 50 degrees

Miles Today: 52

Miles to Date: 10,823

States to Date: 28

 IMG_5605My couchsurfing host Miguel cooked me a remarkable Columbian breakfast and pedaled with me downhill to his lab at Texas Tech Medical Center, which is right next to my turn east on Alameda.

Alameda, also Texas Route 20, is twenty miles of dated motels turned rent by the week apartments, tortilla factories, nail salons, check-cashing outfits, pawn shops, empty storefronts, used car lots, muffler shops, transmission shops, body shops, and auto parts stores interrupted every mile by Dollar General or Dollar Tree or Family Dollar. The strip cleans up by the Wal-Mart near the Loop Road, where $1.51 per gallon gas was the cheapest I’ve seen to date on my trip. But it turns shabby again after the interchange with miles of scrap yards.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 8.47.50 PM IMG_5619 IMG_5621 IMG_5622

I was surprised to pass beautiful high schools in Ysleta, Socorro, and Clink among the assembly of stuff reaching the limits of human consideration. I also stopped to visit the stunning Mission at Ysleta, which is older than its California cousins.

IMG_5615 IMG_5618

IMG_5631Finally, the detritus of urban life gave out and I cycled through miles of pecan groves.

Still, I came upon more fascinating storefronts in Fabens. They reminded me how wonderfully idiosyncratic Texas can be. I hope to find more as I travel east over the next month.

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Unfortunately, there was nothing notable in Fort Hancock, where even the Historical Marker describing the town’s namesake has been worn beyond legibility. I was the first, and perhaps only, guest at the I-10 roadside motel that doesn’t even have a name in front Fortunately, the chicken fired steak at Angie’s across the road lived up to its reputation as the best in West Texas.

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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