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8 May 2018, 9:20 PM CT, Del Rio, TX

Today was the day I have been hunting for!

I finally found a longhorn. I suspect this fellow may be a pet. He was near houses, but with some other cattle. He was taking it easy, a pampered fellow, no doubt.

I was moving along, about 70 miles an hour on a two-lane road, when I saw him. I decided immediately I would have to go back, such an opportunity might be there only one time. I was looking for a place to turn, and finally decided I would have to turn in the road. The road was not wide enough for me to do a U-turn. My U-turns take a lot of width, not one of my strengths in riding. So I did a K-turn. I did not want to use the entire road, there was traffic, so I tried to do it as small as I could on a wide shoulder. A K-turn. Or a 3K-turn you might say. Then I went back to get the picture.

Let me go back to the beginning of the day. I had spent the night in Laredo. Jose was leaving so I said good-bye.

Sometime later it was my turn to leave. I wanted to go back to the Rio Grande to see what I could see in Laredo. I had looked at a map and saw that my hotel was not that far from the river, in fact, the road in front of the hotel went to the river. I could see from the map, though, that the road did not actually go to the river. I was not sure what I would find.

About a block from the hotel, I found this waiting for me.

A long freight train that kept going and going, but very slowly, about walking speed. The pickup in front of me gave up and went left. An 18-wheeler was now sitting behind me. I could not see the end of the train, so I gave up and made a left turn to go find a crossing that did not have a slow freight train.

Riding along, all I could see on the river side of the road was flowers and mesquite.

And then suddenly I noticed what might be a hole in the mesquite. I turned around (K-turn of course, but this time there was no traffic so it was easy). Can you see the hole under the mesquite in the center of the picture? It is subtle, but the give-away was the dirt that was there where normally the mesquite came right up to the road.

I went in the hole, and there was the Rio Grande. I could have walked right down to the edge. No fence, nothing. There were stair-steps carved into the dirt bank. The green stuff was very thick on both sides of the river.

That's all the pictures I have for you today. There wasn't much to see otherwise, just mesquite everywhere. I was on US-83 for part of the journey, then US-277. My plan had been to go to Marathon, sort of an entry (with hotels, etc.) to Big Bend National Park. This morning I changed that plan to go a little farther, Alpine, because I found a hotel more to my liking. That was not to happen. I stopped early, only 198 miles today. It was hot, 95°, and I was getting tired. It was only 1:30 PM, I was at a McDonalds for an hour, then I decided it was time to call it a day, I was not fit to continue another 170 miles to Marathon or 200 miles to Alpine. As far as I could tell in a quick search, there are no hotels in the very small towns in that 170 or 200 miles. So I decided to quit for the day.

I am not sure what I will do tomorrow. The temperature will be about the same as today. It will be 170 miles to Marathon, then 250 miles deep down into Big Bend National Park and back out to Alpine. That's 420 miles total. If I skip the Rio Grande Village, it would be only 200 miles into and out of Big Bend instead of 250 miles. That's still 370 miles tomorrow. I could spend the night in Alpine tomorrow and go into Big Bend the next day. Or I could go to Alpine tomorrow and then make that decision. If I stay in Alpine tomorrow night and then go to Big Bend the next day, that would make it two 200 mile days. And then, if I was up to it, I could continue on from Alpine the second day. Or I might decide to skip going into Big Bend.

So, I am not sure what I will do tomorrow. There are options. I will decide tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

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