I rode from Hobbs, NM to Midland, TX today. State #4 and what I’m considering to be Phase II of the journey (Phase I being the Southwestern states, Phase III the Southeastern states and TX is big enough that it’s a phase onto itself…). The ride from Hobbs to Midland was 93 miles and then once in Midland I did some touring (see picts below) for another 10 miles – 103 miles in total today. The terrain was primarily flat with just a few hills and a total of 700 ft of climbing. It was a sunny day (yes - again!), starting out cool in Hobbs (high 30s when I left at about 9a) and the Temps were in the 50s throughout most of the day. Very pleasant riding conditions. There was a strong wind out of the North today. I rode straight East out of Hobbs on Hwy 62/180 before the winds picked up and then South/Southeast for about 60 miles on Hwy 385 with the wind primarily at my back. I was able to crank out the miles today with an overall avg speed on the 93-mile segment of over 18 mph (by far the best I’ve ever done at that distance). The only negative for the ride is that for whatever reason the Highways are built to have a very rough surface to them in this part of the country and that definitely takes a toll on the bike and body and probably you lose 1-1.5 mph for the ride, compared to what I’d call a normal road.
Today ended up being a day where I just wanted to crank out the miles, so I didn’t take as many pictures along the way – not that much to see in any case. I did get a few during the ride and then as I toured Midland later in the day – I found a few cool things to see!
Good overview of Midland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midland_TX. Best known for the oil in the area and the two President's (Bush) that lived here. The name comes from the fact that it was the midway point between Ft Worth and El Paso on the train back in the day.
On to the pictures:
Hmmm, the oil wells look the same in TX as they did in NM. Two differences I noted though: 1) color of the well generally was this mustard yellow (different owners; different preferences?), and 2) not sure where it was coming from but there were many times where the air was full of a sulfur smell around the oil wells today (not so yesterday).
This was the big "right turn" for the whole day - in Seminole TX. I was able to get to this town and start heading south before the winds picked up too much (thus avoiding a nasty cross wind on the Eastbound leg of 30 miles into this town from Hobbs).
What the heck is that boat doing here?????
West Texas landscape - flat, dry and open. I didn't stop to take any pictures but there was a good bit of agriculture in the area - from the signs and packing plants that I passed it looked like cotton, peanuts and some potatoes.
Brand new baseball stadium. OK, not that cool of a picture but there was a game ongoing and I was able to ride my bike right in and get this picture before an attendant came over and told me I'd have to pay up for a ticket if I wanted to stay. I believe it was the AA affiliate of the Oakland A's - the Midland RockHounds that were playing. I moved on...
Midland water tower.
I was trying to find where former President George W Bush and Laura Bush currently live in Midland. I couldn't find that but did find this. Below is the home the Bush's lived in when George W Bush (President #43) was a child. This was a very modest home and neighborhood. Most of us who grew up in the middle of the US in the 1950s - 1980s would likely find the neighborhood to be pretty similar to what they grew up in (I did in any case). According to the sign it was the upgraded house in Midland for George HW Bush (President #41) after he had made some money in the nearby oil fields. Very cool beginnings for a very successful American family! More info here: www.bushchildhoodhome.com.
Updated map - state #4 - Texas!