wind came in ten minutes - sharp and from the north. But the Texas
Hill Country is a motorcyclist's dream - lots of twisties and
whopp-dee-dos. The winding ranch roads I took were great - little
streams, old houses, sheep grazing.
(As always, be sure to click on the photo to see a larger version.)
Then the land flattens out into an area mostly level, but dotted with mesas and buttes. There are lots of ranches, but cowboy country has a new industry - wind farms, generating electricity. The West Texas wind is constant.
The temperatures were in the high 40s, but it was the 35-40 mph wind that made me cold. "Hey Doug - there's always wind on a moving motorcycle." True, but my scooter has a lot of protection - windscreen, fairing, even protection for the legs and feet. But the wind was from the north, and I was often traveling west. The cross wind frosted my right side a bit, necessitating a few stops for hot chocolate. The wind also ruined my gas mileage. I usually run about 60-62 miles per gallon, but the stiff wind cut that to 52. One tank was a never-before-seen 48 mpg. Ugh! That's the kind a mileage a Harley gets.
Eventually I moved out onto the plains - not a mesa in sight - just lots of farm land irrigated with water from an aquifer. The land is incredibly flat. One town is known as Levelland.
As I was leaving Texas, the wind began to drop. The sun warmed me up a little and I began to look forward to the end of the day's ride. There was no sign welcoming me to New Mexico, but I knew it without any sign. The wide two-lane Texas country road with the broad shoulders gave way to a narrow road with no shoulders - and was very bumpy.
But I was in New Mexico and I celebrated with a bowl of green chile stew.