Let’s see. How can I turn 106 miles of riding through a desert wasteland into an interesting post? Well I’m not really sure. The ride out of Ozona toward Fort Stockton on 10w is what most would describe as no mans land. One big brown rolling hill after another speckled with the same red and green shrubs that encompassed my view the day before. Still it is new to me and I took advantage of the other world like scenery.Folks driving along the 10 must have been thinking “Why is that fool on a motorcycle aiming his camera at nothing?’ Besides it was barely above 40 degrees through some parts of the ride and any sane person would be looking for some shelter from the cold. Before I left Luckenbach, my new buddy John, gave me a pair of thin cotton gloves for the ride. Since I already have two pairs of gloves I didn’t expect to use them anytime soon, but as fate would have it, I had to put those things on under my winter gloves. I thought that my winter gloves were impenetrable by the cold since they are the size of grizzly bear paws. Apparently not though. The combination of the cotton gloves inside of the winter gloves did the trick and the rest of the ride was a breeze. I even hooked up my headphones to Pandora radio on my cell phone and rocked out to some powerful 80’s music all the way to Fort Stockton.
By far, up to this point, this is the most land that I’ve seen without the hand of man somewhere around manipulating it. An odd service station would appear on the horizon accompanied by a few lonely looking wind farms. Interstate 10 cuts through the pristine area like a giant vein of human activity, linking one civilized oasis to another. Other than that it’s raw, rocky, and untamed. I feel as though I’ve finally made it to the southwest. An area that has given me butterflies for weeks just thinking about it.
I made it to Fort Stockton around 3pm, found some wi-fi and checked for the best rates in town. I planned to get another room again. The cheapest place I could find on-line was a Budget Inn. I headed that way only to discover a place that didn’t show up on google. It was the Texas Inn. I guess it’s a one-off motel. Inside, the lady at the counter quoted a rate that was $10 cheaper than Budget Inn. Great, I thought, but I’ve learned to ask if that’s the best she could do. Then she asked if I was a member of anything. I said I’m a member of the American Motorcyclist Association and she knocked another $5 off. A lot of these small motels quote a much higher price at first and they always seem to drop it quickly if you act like you’re gonna walk out the door. Perhaps it has something to do with the natural bargaining that happens in their native country. (The Texas Inn is an Indian owned establishment also, from what I can tell) The big, super familiar, hotel chains hardly budge when I ask for a discount. After unloading I ran across the street to O’Reillys auto parts store to grab some oil and a filter to refresh the Gooses black blood. I was surprised that an auto parts store had a filter that worked on my street bike in stock. The guy behind the counter named, Guy, hooked me up with an old oil jug that I used as a drain pan. We were joking around about his name when I was there. He said that when he was younger he would tell all the girls that “I am the Guy your mom warned you about”. He said that line doesn’t work to well anymore. I got a kick outta that. When I was finished changing the oil I took the old oil back to O’Reillys for recycling. The rest of my evening was spent on the phone or researching what to do in Big Bend. I’ll be leaving for there in the morning and I don’t expect to have cell phone service or wi-fi, it may be a few days before I can post anything. If I have wi-fi, I’ll keep posting.
Here’s a couple of stats from the trip as of this writing. Total miles traveled 7,628.6 Total website views 21,895 (thank you for checking it out everyone) Total cost, embarrassed to say, It has been very expensive. States visited 11. Times that the Goose has been on its side, 6.