A week of changing weather! Maybe I shouldn’t have commented about how hot the weather was at the start of the video; the incredible contrast to the end!
I haven’t been particularly good at capturing the last week on camera and feel that I’ve missed a lot out. A few keys things to mention: I can cycle on the Interstate roads, which are effectively their motorways. The rule is that you have to be outside of the city limits and you obviously have to stay on the hard shoulder. This makes sense when you start crossing some of the vast open deserts. I met a French cyclist who told me this, I saw two other cyclists on the interstate and I past a immigration checkpoint – yet I still felt weird and wrong cycling up the slip road! Unfortunately I wrongly judged this while cycling out of Tucson and accidentally got onto the Interstate before the end of the city limit and got pulled over by the police – first time for everything! They were very friendly and I got off the road for two junctions before legally being allowed back on.
Battery power has been an issue as the clouds started coming in, the solar panel was less reliable. Also, I camped for 6 days straight, so it is understandable that the power bank was coming to the end of its charge!
I have seen so many snakes – admittedly all dead and on the roads – but really big ones too! A couple of huge rattlesnakes and a fair number of tarantulas. Through the deserts in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia, I haven’t seen this sort of wildlife. Also the variety of cati has been really interesting.
The landscape has often reminded me of Mongolia with the huge expanse of open land. I’ve come through the land of cowboys and ranches. Cowboy hats seem mandatory, even in cloudy weather and indoors eating a burger! (I was not brave enough to get my camera out!)
Cycling into El Paso and being in a city that is effectively half in a different country. International borders have always interested me and this has been no different. I do look forward to leaving the Mexican border behind me though. As you can imagine, there is a large border force presence and you’re never far from a watchful eye – however, it does bring a feeling of relative safety to the region, although I know it has had its struggles.
California, Arizona, New Mexico and now I’m in Texas. I didn’t realise that I’d crossed a time zone – found out and got excited I’d gain an hour, only to find out a short time later that the clocks had gone back the previous night for daylight saving! I was confused!
My flight home is now booked so I have a set deadline now. There is still some flex I the schedule and there is still sooooo much to see in this huge country.