I rode from Big Lake, TX to San Angelo, TX today. The ride was 70 miles and definitely less painful than yesterday’s ride. There continued to be strong 20 mph winds today but most of my ride was East and the winds continue to be from the South. Weather was in the 60s most of the day and partly cloudy. Tomorrow looks to be my first day of riding in the rain – swell…
The ride was completely on Hwy 67 today.
San Angelo is still considered to be West Texas and has an economy highly linked to the oil/gas industry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Angelo,_Texas) but also has quite a bit of agriculture in the area as well as a USAF base (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodfellow_Air_Force_Base). The terrain changed from very flat in the Big Lake area to having a few mild hills. There are definitely fewer oil/gas wells in this part of Texas, so I believe I’m leaving the center of mass for that industry, which is primarily further west in TX. Over the next few days as I ride towards Austin, TX I will start getting into TX hill country.
San Angelo was initially settled by European Americans in 1867 when the US Military established a fort known as Fort Concho. The city today has about 100,000 residents.
I’ve now ridden about 300 miles on the very rough highways (like hard packed gravel) and a few things needed to be tightened up on my bike (headset and derailleur) so I stopped into a local bike shop and they took great care of my bike - http://conchobikeshop.com.
The main intersection of Big Lake, TX. I've seen many 100s of that type of tanker truck - I believe they're used to carry the oil from the collection points in the oil fields to processing plants.
One of the oil collection points in the oil fields.
I've seen a few of these fires on the tops of wells. I've read that this is done intentionally to burn off some of the natural gas, when its not economical in a well to collect the gas.
First 2 donkeys I've seen on the trip - keeping a close eye on me!
And, lot's of goats as I got closer to San Angelo today.
Not sure what this is - looks like a big drilling rig (called a derrick) - but I don't know for sure.
About 30 miles from San Angelo today I started seeing weird scenery - green! For the first time since I left the mountains in NM last week. Also, note the sign - hard to imagine ice as there is not even water (on top of the ground - agriculture and drinking water must come from wells) in this part of the world, but I guess it must happen earlier in the winter.
This truck has seen better days, but it must have been a workhorse in its day - made for a great picture though today!
Funky panorama picture of a truck passing me.
There are some huge farms west of San Angelo. This one field was at least 2 miles long as I rode past it and at least that deep going away from the road. Looked like they grow hay in the area.
Twin Buttes, southwest of San Angelo.